Air Commandos Awarded Silver Star

Two Air Force Special Operations Command combat controllers assigned to the 21st Special Tactics Squadron at Pope Field, N.C., were awarded the Silver Star—the nation’s third highest decoration for gallantry in combat—for their efforts in Afghanistan last year, according to a Jan. 13 base release. MSgt. Delorean Sheridan was preparing for a mission with his Army special forces team in March 2013, when an Afghan National Police officer, who was working with the team, opened fire on the team. At the same time, some 20 insurgents began firing on the team from outside of the base. Instantly, Sheridan jumped in the turret of an armored vehicle and shot the inside attacker several times, states the release. He then dragged his team leader, who had been shot in the head at close range, the team sergeant, and the infantry squad noncommissioned officer in charge to safety. He called in six medevacs and is credited with saving the lives of 23 critically wounded personnel. SSgt. Christopher Baradet also was working with an Army special forces team in April 2013, tasked with retrieving a group of pinned-down coalition forces. Without regard for his own life, he remained exposed to enemy fire so he could more effectively control the aircraft overhead. He continued to direct an A-10 and an AC-130 gunship as his team left the area. He is credited with saving the lives of 150 coalition members. AFSOC Commander Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel presided over the Jan. 10 ceremony at Pope.