CLOVIS (KSMX)- U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Cody Smith, an ST combat controller with the 26th Special Tactics Squadron, 24th Special Operations Wing and Air Force Special Operations Command, will be awarded the nation’s third-highest medal for gallantry against an armed enemy of the U.S. in combat.
Smith was also named Air Force Times’ 2019 Airman of the Year
Smith will be honored for his role in securing the safety of his joint and partner force members by preventing enemy forces from overrunning friendly positions during national parliamentary elections while deployed with a U.S. Special Forces Team during Operation Freedom Sentinel in support of the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.
While receiving accurate fires from the enemy and with no regard for his own personal safety, Smith exposed himself to danger to control airstrikes and assist dozens of civilians injured and killed from the enemy’s ambush. He coordinated attacks from F-16 Fighting Falcons and AH-64 Apache helicopters, including the use of multiple precision guided 500-pound bombs engaging as close as 90 meters away.
Smith was specifically targeted and hit by hostile fire, along with effective mortar fire impacting two meters away, severely concussing him. Smith continued to control airstrikes to neutralize remaining threats and remained with his team for the 14-hour vehicle movement back to friendly lines to ensure their safety.