For Extraordinary Aerial Achievement

A press release by Capt. Jennifer Proctor of the 138th Fighter Wing has announced that Lt Col. Michael Coloney was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for Valor for a mission he flew in support of Special Operations Forces in April of 2018.

Coloney had deployed to Afghanistan in 2018 with the 125th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, flying the F-16 Fighting Falcon. On April 30th of that year, Coloney was in the air performing his assigned air operations mission when he received a tasking order to support a Special Operations Forces unit embedded with Afghan Army troops clearing a village in the Kapisa province.  This unit had come under attack by 80 Taliban armed with small arms, RPGs, and grenades.

This unit had taken eleven casualties with one killed in action.

For the next five hours, Lt Col. Coloney stayed over the target, and working with a Combat Controller on the ground employed GPS-guided bombs, and conducted high-angle strafing runs on enemy positions that at times were just thirty meters from friendly troops.