An Air Force combat controller will be awarded the Silver Star for his actions in a 2015 battle in Afghanistan that protected his special forces team while pinned down, and resulting in the deaths of “many” enemy fighters. TSgt. Brian Claughsey, a combat controller with the 21st Special Tactics Squadron, was embedded with a US Army Special Forces team in Kunduz, when, with no regard for his personal safety, he exposed himself to enemy fire to coordinate 17 airstrikes against Taliban fighters. His actions ensured the safety of 150 friendly forces, killed many Taliban fighters, and resulted in zero civilian casualties. Claughsey will receive the award during a ceremony Friday at Pope Army Airfield, N.C. He is the latest is a series of airmen from the 21st STS to be recognized for valor. The squadron has, since 2008, had five airmen receive the Air Force Cross and 10 receive the Silver Star, including one with an Oak Leaf Cluster.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.