Special Operations News

Special Tactics Airman to be Awarded the Air Force Cross

WASHINGTON, DC — Senior Airman Alaxey Germanovich will be awarded the Air Force Cross on Dec. 10, 2020.

On April 8, 2017, Alaxey Germanovich was attached to a team of Army Special Forces and Afghan Commandos while on a mission to clear a well-fortified valley in Nangahar Province, Afghanistan. During an enemy ambush, Germanovich repeatedly exposed himself to sniper and machine gun fire while directing numerous danger close airstrikes from an AFSOC AC-130 gunship within 35 meters of his position.

With the team expending all of their rifle ammunition and grenades, they drew their pistols in an attempt to suppress the advancing enemy. Germanovich directed his team’s withdrawal, then traversed 700 meters carrying a casualty up a mountain to a helicopter landing zone while directing close air support.

Germanovich is credited for the protection of over 150 friendly forces and the destruction of 11 enemy fighting positions over the course of the eight-hour battle. With this honor, Staff Sgt. Germanovich becomes the 12th Special Tactics Airman to receive the Air Force Cross since 9/11. The Air Force Cross is an upgrade from his previously awarded Bronze Star Medal.

Special Tactics is the Air Force’s most highly decorated community since the Vietnam War specializing in global access, precision strike, personnel recovery and battlefield surgery. Since 9/11, Special Tactics Airmen have received one Medal of Honor, 12 Air Force Crosses and 50 Silver Star Medals.

The Citation

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Section 9272 of Title 10, United States Code, awards the Air Force Cross to Senior Airman Alaxey Germanovich for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an armed enemy of the United States as a Joint Terminal Attack Controller, Combined Joint Special Operations Air Component-Afghanistan, on 8 April 2017.

On that date, Airman Germanovich and his Special Forces team accompanied Afghan Special Operations Forces to seize key terrain in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan. For 17 consecutive days, the American and Afghan forces were consistently engaged in close combat with enemy forces. He commanded numerous danger close airstrikes, directly engaged the enemy, and orchestrated medical evacuations.

On the morning of 8 April 2017, Airman Germanovich and his team came under intense machine gun and sniper fire. A ferocious firefight ensued, enveloping friendly forces with countless enemy fighting positions as insurgents continued to reinforce from all sides of the valley. Without hesitation, he deliberately placed himself in grave danger by sprinting toward his isolated teammates, traversing 70 meters of open terrain and a fusillade of machine gun fire. He directed multiple strafing runs, with 500-pound and 2,000-pound bomb strikes as close as 90 meters from his position.

As his team member was mortally wounded, Airman Germanovich placed himself between the attacking enemy and the pinned down friendly forces, protecting them with his body and employing his own suppressive fires.

As they expended all their ammunition and drew their pistols to suppress the advancing enemy, Airman Germanovich directed close air support as close as 20 meters from his position, neutralizing the enemy.

Finally, he coordinated medical evacuation helicopters to extract the wounded and helped carry a Soldier 700 meters uphill to the landing zone as he continued to call for close air support. During eight hours of intense
enemy attack and complete disregard for his personal safety, Airman Germanovich’s actions directly resulted in the protection of over 150 friendly forces and the lethal engagement of 11 separate fighting positions.

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.

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