Special Tactics Airman to be awarded Air Force Cross Published Dec. 8, 2020 24th Special Operations Wing HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. (AFNS) -- Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett will present the Air Force Cross to a Special Tactics Airman during a ceremony at 11:30 a.m. MST at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, Dec.10. Staff Sgt. Alaxey Germanovich, a Special Tactics combat controller with the 26th Special Tactics Squadron, 24th Special Operations Wing, Air Force Special Operations Command, will be awarded the nation’s second highest medal for gallantry against an armed enemy of the U.S. in combat. On April 8, 2017, Germanovich was attached to a team of Army special forces and Afghan commandos while on a mission to clear a well-fortified valley in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. During an enemy ambush, Germanovich repeatedly exposed himself to sniper and machine-gun fire while directing numerous dangerously-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 more than 150 friendly forces and the destruction of 11 enemy fighting positions over the course of the eight-hour battle. The Air Force Cross is second only to the Medal of Honor and is given to members of the armed forces who display extraordinary heroism while engaged in action against an enemy of the United States. With this honor, Staff Sgt. Germanovich will become the 12th Special Tactics Airman to receive the Air Force Cross since 9/11. 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 ceremony will be available for viewing via livestream on the Air Force Special Tactics Facebook page. For more information or additional questions, please email the 24th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs Office at email@example.com.