Lt. Gen. Harry Wyatt, Air National Guard director, presented TSgt. Raymond Viel with the Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device during a ceremony at Tinker AFB, Okla. Wyatt honored Viel, a member of the Oklahoma Air Guard’s 146th Air Support Operations Squadron at Will Rogers ANG Base, for his heroic actions in Afghanistan’s Laghman province during a deployment from July 2011 to March 2012. Viel supported soldiers of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and was involved in a firefight against hostile forces that resulted in the death of seven insurgents and the fatal wounding of a high-value individual, according to a Tinker release. Additional members of Viel’s squadron received awards during the Aug. 18 ceremony for their actions in Afghanistan. (Tinker report by SrA. Patricia Baker)
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.