CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (KAMR/KCIT) — Today at Cannon Air Force Base, a Special Tactics Operator is awarded the nation’s third-highest medal for gallantry against an armed enemy of the U.S.
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Cody Smith received the Silver Star Medal at a special ceremony at the base on November 22, 2019.
He was honored for his role in securing the safety of his joint and partner force members. While deployed with a Special Forces team, Tech. Sgt. Smith kept enemy forces from overrunning friendly positions during parliamentary elections.
It happened in Afghanistan when Tech. Sgt. Smith exposed himself to danger to control airstrikes and assist dozens of civilians from the enemy’s ambush.
He coordinated attacks from F-16 Fighting Falcons and AH-64 Apache helicopters. Some of those F-16’s that were used in the mission were actually there today.
Tech. Sgt. Smith explains that what got him through the mission, was knowing his team was depending on him.
“I knew that having the ability to communicate with our aircraft and to deliver airstrikes was paramount in our safety and our ability to maneuver through this ambush that we had encountered. So I think the biggest thing for me was knowing that the team was relying on me, and I was relying on the team to carry out their responsibilities in the same manner,” Tech. Sgt. Smith said.
He says this entire award experience has been extremely humbling over the past year, he says he doesn’t see himself as anything remarkable compared to his peers. But his peers say otherwise.
Tech. Sgt. Smith says the best part of this award, is the awareness it’s raised around Special Tactics and the Air Force because a lot of people don’t realize the work they do with special operations like this in combat.