ANG member receives Silver Star for actions in Afghanistan

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An NCO with the Washington Air National Guard was awarded the Silver Star medal in a ceremony May 6 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

Tech. Sgt. Tavis Delaney, a tactical air control party member with the 116th Air Support Operations Squadron, was awarded the medal for his actions during the Battle of Do Ab in Afghanistan on May 25, 2011.

The Silver Star is the third-highest military decoration awarded to a member of the U.S. armed forces for valor in the face of the enemy. Since Sept. 11, 2001, only two other members of the Washington National Guard have been awarded the Silver Star: Tech. Sgt. Kevin Whalen for actions in Afghanistan in 2003 and Army Spc. Gerrit Kobes for actions in Iraq in 2004.

"We are incredibly proud of Tech. Sgt. Delaney and the 116th ASOS," said Maj. Gen. Timothy J. Lowenberg, the adjutant general of the Washington National Guard. "Time after time, they have been the decisive difference on the battlefield, and Tech. Sgt. Delaney is deserving of this high honor."

According to his medal citation, Delaney "... heroically distinguished himself by gallantry in action and extremely valorous actions in the face of the enemy ... His gallantry under fire saved the lives of more than 64 coalition forces (members) and contributed to the destruction of more than 200 Taliban insurgents."

The TACP members of the 116th ASOS are often considered the furthest extension of Air Force influence on the Army's battlefield. TACP Airmen deploy into combat with ground combat units and serve as close air support experts, advising ground commanders on the use of Air Force assets in combat. They serve as forward air controllers, guiding weapons onto target. Approximately 20 members of the squadron deployed to Afghanistan with Delaney from March 2011 to July 2011.

Brief helmet camera video of Delaney during the battle can be viewed here.

(Courtesy of the Washington National Guard.)

(Editor's note: Our editorial style guide currently calls for a dash in TACP. However, after reviewing the entry, we couldn't find a justification for this rule. Therefore, we have removed the dash and are changing our style guide to reflect the change.)