Travis AFB presents 57 Air Medals

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Casey Sturdivan
  • 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Fifty U.S. Airmen were recognized with the Air Medal decoration for their actions in support of Operation Allies Refuge during seven separate ceremonies at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., from Jan. 9, 2023, to Feb. 21, 2023.

The Air Medal is a decoration awarded to a person, serving in any capacity in or with the Armed Forces of the United States, who has distinguished themselves through meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight.

Over past two months, the Air Medal was presented to air crew members who supported seven separate Travis-based missions, originating from the 21st Airlift Squadron.

“Operations like Allies Refuge, and many other examples throughout history, set AMC apart from other commands,” said Lt Col William Street, 21st Airlift Squadron commander and Air Medal recipient. “We deliver hope to the world.”

Eight Airmen from the Travis-based mission with call sign REACH833 garnered an Air Medal with a Combat Device, given for meritorious service or achievement performed under combat conditions. This device recognizes individuals who experienced hostile action or were at significant risk of exposure to hostile action during aerial flight.

In support of the REACH833 mission, the crew landed at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Afghanistan, amid significant threats in order to load passengers. When provided the option to depart for safety, the crew elected to stay and complete their mission, waiting for their passengers for four hours. Their decision resulted in successful retrograde of the airfield and enabled follow-on missions.

“In this unprecedented operation, the 21 AS crews recognized during these Air Medal ceremonies performed above and beyond expectations,” said Street. “Their actions were commendable, and worthy of recognition as they surmounted significant obstacles and challenges along the way to accomplish the mission.”

The actions of all members who received the Air Medal from Team Travis directly supported the cumulative evacuation of 124,000 men, women and children over the course of Allies Refuge.