ACC Pilot Awarded DFC

Col. Bernard Willi, Air Combat Command’s personnel recovery core function team chief, received the Distinguished Flying Cross for his heroic action during aerial flight in Afghanistan last summer. Willi helped rescue almost 1,000 Afghans during a catastrophic flood in Nangahar and Kunar provinces in Eastern Afghanistan from July 28-29. Prior to the rescue mission, he had 10 rescues to his credit. During the tumultuous two days, Willi would increase his rescue credit 100 times. “I had missed Hurricane Katrina because I was the commander of an HH-60 test unit,” said Willi. “I thought as a senior lieutenant colonel, I would never get a chance to do something like this again.” Maj. Gen. Michael Boera, ACC director of requirements, presented the medal to Willi during a ceremony at JB Langley-Eustis, Va., Oct. 31. He was promoted to colonel after the ceremony. (Langley release by MSgt. Steven Goetsch)