Ordnance from a U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress, assigned to the 96th Bomb Squadron at Barksdale, Louisiana, accurately strikes a target during the Special Operations Terminal Attack Controller Course at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, Nov. 2, 2020. SOTACC is a 5-week course, hosted by the 24th Special Operations Wing, which allows special operations members from all branches conduct CAS missions and receive their Joint Terminal Attack Controller certification. The JTAC course is the only one in the Department of Defense specifically designed for special operations members. (U.S. Air Force photo Tech. Sgt. Rose Gudex)
The US Air Force announced on Saturday that Staff Sgt. Alaxey Germanovich, a Special Tactics airman, will receive the Air Force Cross for his actions during a firefight on a deployment to Afghanistan in 2017.
“Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Airman Germanovich reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force,” states Germanovich’s Air Force Cross citation.
Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett will present the Air Force Cross to Germanovich during a ceremony at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, on Thursday.
On April 8, 2017, Germanovich was attached to a team of Army Special Forces and Afghan commandos for a mission to clear out enemy forces in a well-fortified valley in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. While in the valley, the team was ambushed with heavy machine-gun fire and sniper fire, according to the Air Force Cross citation.
During the firefight, Germanovich called in multiple danger-close airstrikes from overhead AC-130 gunships, many of them under the danger-close parameters. After one of his teammates was mortally wounded, Germanovich shielded his teammate with his own body while firing suppressive volleys at the enemy.
As the enemy closed in, Germanovich and his teammates pulled out their pistols after running out of ammo for their other weapons. Germanovich made a critical decision to call in more airstrikes within 20 meters of himself, decimating the enemy and turning the tide of the battle in his favor.
Germanovich continued calling in airstrikes to destroy the remaining enemy while helping carry a wounded comrade 700 meters uphill to the medical evacuation landing zone.
He is credited with protecting 150 US and Afghan soldiers while destroying 11 separate enemy positions during an eight-hour firefight in the Nangarhar Valley, Afghanistan.
Germanovich is a US Air Force Special Tactics Combat Controller assigned to the 26th Special Tactics Squadron, 24th Special Operations Wing, Air Force Special Operations Command. The 26th Special Tactics Squadron is located at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico.
According to the Air Force, Germanovich entered the Air Force in November 2012 and completed the Air Force Special Operations Combat Control training pipeline in June 2015. After graduating the pipeline, he was assigned to the 26th Special Tactics Squadron. He has deployed in support of Operations Resolute Support and Freedom’s Sentinel.
Since joining the Air Force, Germanovich has earned the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Air Force Combat Action Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, 2017 26th STS Airman of the Quarter, 2017 24th SOW Airman of the year, and 2017 USAF Combat Controller of the Year, and he was the distinguished graduate from his Airman Leadership School.
The Air Force Cross is the second-highest award for valor that an airman can receive, only surpassed by the Medal of Honor. Germanovich will be the 12th Special Tactics airman to receive the award, following a highly decorated tradition. According to the USAF, Special Tactics airmen have received 50 Silver Star Medals, 12 Air Force Crosses, and one Medal of Honor since Sept. 11, 2001.
Joshua Skovlund is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die. He covered the 75th anniversary of D-Day in France, multinational military exercises in Germany, and civil unrest during the 2020 riots in Minneapolis. Born and raised in small-town South Dakota, he grew up playing football and soccer before serving as a forward observer in the US Army. After leaving the service, he worked as a personal trainer while earning his paramedic license. After five years as in paramedicine, he transitioned to a career in multimedia journalism. Joshua is married with two children.
Biden will award the Medal of Honor to a Vietnam War Army helicopter pilot who risked his life to save a reconnaissance team from almost certain death.
Ever wonder how much Jack Mandaville would f*ck sh*t up if he went back in time? The American Revolution didn't even see him coming.
A nearly 200-year-old West Point time capsule that at first appeared to yield little more than dust contains hidden treasure, the US Military Academy said.
Since the 1920s, a low-tech tabletop replica of an aircraft carrier’s flight deck has been an essential tool in coordinating air operations.
For nearly as long as the Army-Navy football rivalry, the academies’ hoofed mascots have stared each other down from the sidelines. Here are their stories.
Zelenskyy said on his Telegram channel the weapon was produced by Ukraine’s Ministry of Strategic Industries but gave no other details.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the launch occurred Wednesday but gave no further details, such as how far the missile flew.