The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Cannon airman to be awarded Silver Star


November 20, 2019

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — An airman stationed at Cannon Air Force Base will be awarded the Silver Star on Friday morning for his actions while serving in Afghanistan.

The award for Tech Sgt. Cody Smith of the 26th Special Tactics Squadron is the nation’s third-highest medal for gallantry against an armed enemy of the United States in combat. He will be presented the honor in a 10 a.m. ceremony to be officiated by Lt. Gen. Jim Slife, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command.

According to a news release from Cannon:

While deployed with a U.S. Special Forces team during Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, Smith helped secure the safety of his joint and partner force members by keeping enemy forces from overrunning friendly positions during national parliamentary elections.

Smith, without regard for his own personal safety, controlled airstrikes and assisted civilians impacted by an enemy ambush.

Smith was hit by hostile fire, and severely concussed by mortar fire that impacted two meters away. He continued to control airstrikes to neutralize remaining threats, and stayed with his team over a 14-hour vehicle movement back to friendly lines.

For his efforts, Smith was also named Air Force Times’ 2019 Airman of the Year.

Special Tactics is the Air Force’s ground special operations force that leads global access, precision strike, personnel recovery and battlefield surgical operations. Since Sept. 11, 2001, Special Tactics airmen have received one Medal of Honor, 11 Air Force Crosses and 48 Silver Star Medals.


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