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  • SEA Prime Beef - Red Horse

    During the Southeast Asia War, the Air Force deployed specialized Prime BEEF and Red Horse engineering teams that played a critical role building up and sustaining bases.First arriving in South Vietnam in 1965, Prime BEEF (Base Engineer Emergency Force) teams gave civil engineering support for

  • Staff Sergeant Robert Gutierrez Jr. Air Force Cross Recipient

    On October 5, 2009, SSgt Robert Gutierrez Jr., a combat controller, was attached to a ten-man Special Forces team as the sole Joint Terminal Attack Controller. Their mission was to conduct a high-risk nighttime raid to capture the number two Taliban leader in Herat Province, Afghanistan, during

  • SSgt Anissa Shero Casualty in Afghanistan

    Air Commando SSgt Anissa Shero served as a loadmaster aboard an MC-130 Combat Talon II, call sign Chariot-55, during Operation Enduring Freedom. On June 12, 2002, Chariot-55 was tasked with extracting a three-man US Special Forces team from a dirt runway near the village of Sardeh Band,

  • Stripes and Wings: Enlisted Pilots

    "It is not the policy of the War Department to train enlisted men in flying aeroplanes ..." –Rebuke to Lt. Lahm's report that he trained Corporal Vernon Burge to fly in 1912.More than 4,500 enlisted Airmen became pilots and served alongside their far more numerous officer counterparts. Corporal

  • Staff Sergeant James Meredith Desegregation in the Air Force

    “The desegregation of the Air Force was the most significant thing since the Constitution of the United States which claim[s] that all men should be equal. Nothing has done as much as the desegregation of the Air Force to make that a reality.” - Dr. James MeredithDespite President Harry S. Truman’s

  • Staff Sergeant Nyle Mickley First Enlisted Aerial Victory of the Korean War

    On June 29, 1950, the US Air Force crossed the 38th parallel into communist territory for the first time during the Korean War. The objective: destroy the enemy’s primary airfield at Pyongyang.Eighteen B-26 Invader aircraft from the 3rd Bombardment Group (Light) entered enemy air space just before

  • Special Delivery: Loadmasters

    Loadmasters fill a crucial role in airlift operations, performing skilled calculations to safely deliver people and supplies around the world.Loadmasters are enlisted aircrew members who serve as cargo specialists. They load and unload cargo, assist passengers, and conduct airdrops.When loading

  • Staff Sergeant Scott Sather “First There”

    USAF Staff Sergeant Scott Sather, a combat controller, was the first Airman killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom on April 8, 2003. As part of the US Air Force’s elite 24th Special Tactics Squadron, Sather served with a Joint Special Operations Task Force alongside members of the US Army’s “Delta

  • Staff Sergeant Henry E. Erwin Medal of Honor Recipient

    In April 1945, on a mission over Koriyama, Japan, radio operator SSgt. Henry “Red” Erwin was charged with dropping phosphorous smoke bombs to mark a target. Upon releasing the bombs, one proved faulty. It exploded while still inside the launching chute, rocketing back into the aircraft and striking

  • Sergeant First Class Harold O. Nicholls

    Recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, 1918Sergeant First Class Harold O. Nicholls volunteered to serve as an observer with the 7th Balloon Company on multiple occasions. Observers rode in the balloon’s basket at a height around 1,500 ft to observe artillery fire and communicate adjustments.