Kentucky Guardsmen Honored for Afghanistan Service

Eight airmen assigned to the 123rd Airlift Wing were awarded various military decorations, including one Distinguished Flying Cross and two Bronze Star with Valor medals, during a ceremony at the Kentucky ANGB in Louisville, Ky., according to a Jan. 15 release. Capt. Nathan Tingle, a combat rescue officer assigned to the wing’s 123rd Special Tactics Squadron, was awarded the DFC for his “extraordinary achievement” in Afghanistan. On May 26, 2011, Tingle was the lead CRO on a “harrowing rescue mission” in the Shorbak District of Kandahar Province. Despite reduced visibility and a mountainous environment, he formed a plan to extract one critically wounded soldier, two isolated soldiers, and 10 killed in action over a still-active minefield. Also honored was TSgt. Jeff Kinlaw, a combat controller, who was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor for his heroic actions in the Nuristan Province of Afghanistan in 2012. On April 12 that year, Kinlaw, who was serving as the primary JTAC for a US special forces team, helped battle Taliban fighters for 14 hours, repeatedly placing himself in plain sight of the enemy to protect his teammates. TSgt. Robert Bonello, another combat controller awarded the Bronze Star with Valor, was honored for his heroic actions in Afghanistan’s Faryab Province in 2012. Bonello, also serving as the primary JTAC with an Army special forces team, conducted a “time-sensitive air assault mission” as his team was “directly engaged by enemy forces,” states the release.