***image1***Two troops under the 37th Airlift Squadron recently received Air Medals from Secretary of the Air Force Michael Wynne during his visit to Ramstein in December.
Airman 1st Class Ian Hughes and Capt. Greg Jones earned their medals while flying combat operations over the past two years.
“(Airman Hughes) distinguished himself by meritorious acheivement while participating in sustained aerial flight,” said Lt. Gen. Walter Buchanan, U.S. Air Force Central Command commander.
Airman Hughes earned his medal during his time in Kuwait from October to December 2004. He directly contributed to the success of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While operating as a loadmaster of a C-130E, he delivered 85 short tons of mission essential cargo and 923 personnel in less than two months. In addition to his loadmaster duties, Airman Hughes scanned the ground for potential enemy attacks against the aircraft and displayed extreme poise when the aircraft came under fire. Airman Hughes’ crew was also chosen to fly the interim Iraqi Deputy President on a high profile diplomatic mission.
Captain Jones earned his medal while conducting combat flying operations from December 2004 to February 2005. He piloted a C-130E on 20 missions directly supporting operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, including time sensitive shipments of critical cargo, distinguished visitors, coalition troops and Iraqi security forces throughout the Iraqi theater of operations. Captain Jones’ dedication enabled his crew to safely fly over 100 combat hours, deliver more than 110 tons of mission critical cargo and more than 1,500 personnel.
“Captain Jones and Airman Hughes worked tremendously hard under dangerous conditions while deployed for OIF. It was a fitting tribute for them to be recognized by the SECAF during his recent visit. I couldn’t be more proud than to have men like them as part of my unit,” said Lt. Col. William Ward, 37th Airlift Squadron commander.
The Air Medal is awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity in or with the Armed Forces of the United States, shall have distinguished himself by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight while on aviation orders.