HomeNewsArticle Display

TACP receives second Silver Star medal

Maj. Gen. Harry Polumbo, Ninth Air Force Commander, presented Master Sgt. Thomas Case, Tactical Air Control Party Airman, 18th Air Support Operations Group, with his second Silver Star medal, Nov. 13 at Pope Army Airfield, N.C.  Case received the medal for gallantry in action during a 2009 deployment to Afghanistan. The Silver Star medal is the U.S. military’s third highest military decoration for valor. It is presented for gallantry in action against an enemy of the U.S. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ryan Callaghan)

Maj. Gen. Harry Polumbo, 9th Air Force Commander, presented Master Sgt. Thomas Case, a tactical air control party Airman with the 18th Air Support Operations Group, with his second Silver Star medal, Nov. 13, 2014, at Pope Army Airfield, N.C. Case received the medal for gallantry in action during a 2009 deployment to Afghanistan. The Silver Star medal is the U.S. military’s third highest military decoration for valor. It is presented for gallantry in action against an enemy of the U.S. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ryan Callaghan)

Master Sgt. Thomas Case, Tactical Air Control Party Airman, 18th Air Support Operations Group, coordinates aerial command and control while deployed as part of a joint task force during Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Master Sgt. Thomas Case, a tactical air control party Airman with the 18th Air Support Operations Group, coordinates aerial command and control while deployed as part of a joint task force during Operation Enduring Freedom. Case received his second Silver Star medal Nov. 13, 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Maj. Gen. Harry Polumbo, Ninth Air Force Commander, presented Master Sgt. Thomas Case, Tactical Air Control Party Airman, 18th Air Support Operations Group, with his second Silver Star medal, Nov. 13, 2014 at Pope Army Airfield, N.C.  Case received the medal for gallantry in action during a 2009 deployment to Afghanistan. The Silver Star Medal is the U.S. military’s third highest military decoration for valor. It is presented for gallantry in action against an enemy of the U.S. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ryan Callaghan)

Maj. Gen. Harry Polumbo, the 9th Air Force Commander, presented Master Sgt. Thomas Case, a tactical air control party airman, 18th Air Support Operations Group, with his second Silver Star medal, Nov. 13, 2014 at Pope Army Airfield, N.C. Case received the medal for gallantry in action during a 2009 deployment to Afghanistan. The Silver Star Medal is the U.S. military’s third highest military decoration for valor. It is presented for gallantry in action against an enemy of the U.S. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ryan Callaghan)

Master Sgt. Thomas Case, Tactical Air Control Party Airman, 18th Air Support Operations Group, received his second Silver Star medal, Nov. 13 at Pope Army Airfield, N.C. Case is the third Airman and first TACP since 9/11 to have two Silver Stars, making him one of the most highly-decorated U.S. service members. Case received the medal for gallantry in action during a 2009 deployment to Afghanistan. The Silver Star medal is the U.S. military’s third highest military decoration for valor. It is presented for gallantry in action against an enemy of the U.S. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ryan Callaghan)

Master Sgt. Thomas Case, a tactical air control party Airman with the 18th Air Support Operations Group, received his second Silver Star medal, Nov. 13, 2014, at Pope Army Airfield, N.C. Case is the third Airman and first TACP since 9/11 to have two Silver Stars, making him one of the most highly-decorated U.S. service members. Case received the medal for gallantry in action during a 2009 deployment to Afghanistan. The Silver Star medal is the U.S. military’s third highest military decoration for valor. It is presented for gallantry in action against an enemy of the U.S. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ryan Callaghan)

POPE ARMY AIRFIELD, N.C. (AFNS) --

Master Sgt. Thomas Case, a tactical air control party Airman in the 18th Air Support Operations Group here, received his second Silver Star medal Nov. 13,  for heroic actions during a 2009 deployment to Afghanistan.

The Silver Star medal is the U.S. military’s third highest military decoration for valor. It is presented for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States. There have been 67 Silver Stars presented to Airmen for actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Maj. Gen. H.D. Polumbo Jr., the 9th Air Force commander, presided over the ceremony.

"Master Sgt. Case answered his Nation's call and defended his country with his life. He is the embodiment of our legacy of valor and will always be part of our proud heritage,” Polumbo said of Case’s second Silver Star. “If you look at the Airman's Creed, there are a couple of lines in there that are particularly important to me when you consider Sergeant Case's actions: not leaving an Airman behind, shielding other troops to keep them alive during a firefight ... that's our Airman's Creed. He epitomizes our warrior ethos and is the ‘wingman, leader and warrior’ our Airmen want to follow."

For Case, it’s not a matter of another medal, he said. In his eyes, he has done nothing more than what is asked of him.

"It's recognition for doing your job," Case said. "You wake up, you get the mission and you go do it."

He joined an elite group as the third Airman and the seventh U.S. military member to receive two Silver Stars since 9/11. Case the only TACP in the Air Force to receive two Silver Stars.

During his 2009 deployment, Case was embedded with a U.S. Army Ranger unit. Inserted by helicopter onto the high mountains in Afghanistan the night of June 17, Case and his team of Ranger special operations forces were to capture or kill enemy combatants and to destroy their mountain camps.

After climbing up nearly 1,000 feet of mountainous terrain carrying heavy equipment, body armor and weaponry, Case realized they were off route, and using the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft, he redirected the team.

When they took enemy fire from higher ground, Case remained exposed to enemy fire to ensure he knew the enemy’s position for an air strike.

Despite the wires on his radio being seriously damaged, making it nearly impossible to communicate with the aircraft, Case troubleshot the issue while machine gun rounds hit the ground and trees one meter from him.

 Once ensuring the enemy’s position was communicated correctly, he called in dangerously close air support from an AC-130 gunship.

Throughout the night’s mission, Case stood up multiple times while under fire to ensure the safety of his team members, whether to provide them cover or to make sure the rounds from the aircraft hit enemy positions.

During the battle, while communicating with multiple aircraft overhead and returning fire with his M-4 rifle, he spotted two enemy fighters bounding down the mountain toward his ground force commander. The TACP stepped forward to protect the commander from gunfire and eliminated the threat.

“Even at that time, I was a little bit older than most of the guys,” said Case, a senior NCO with 18 years of service. “So, I’m a little paternal. It was automatic for me to step in front of the commander.”

When the enemy repositioned themselves to higher terrain and began throwing grenades down the mountain slope, even after six more dangerously close air strikes on the enemies, Case realized he needed to have eyes on the enemy position. While under direct fire, he climbed 50 meters up a 60-degree incline with near-zero visibility from the dust to join the lead fire team. He fixed his radio and directed four AC-130 air strikes, and then threw a grenade to eliminate incoming insurgents just seven meters away.

At the time of his gallant actions, he was assigned to the 17th ASOS, now the 17th Special Tactics Squadron, at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Special Tactics TACP Airmen deploy with special operations forces to integrate air combat power and surface fires into the ground scheme of maneuver, enabling dynamic, synergistic and lethal firepower on the battlefield. Special Tactics TACPs support all three Ranger battalions, the 75th Ranger Regiment's Reconnaissance Company, U.S. Army Special Forces Operational Detachment A teams, U.S. Navy SEAL Team platoons, and other special mission units.

TACPs perform all air-to-ground integration, surface-to-surface fire integration (artillery), rotary wing and fixed wing air combat support, naval gunfire, electronic warfare such as jamming and intelligence.

Engage

Twitter
"Calling search and rescue" @374AirliftWing Airmen participate in a Samurai Readiness Inspection at Combined Arms… https://t.co/16NG8UuD77
Twitter
The two-week exercise is in tandem with the Polish air force near Powidz, Poland. #Partnership #ReadyAF https://t.co/oj2EPRUBSF
Twitter
.@USAF_ACC conducted an experiment known as Agile Flag 21-1 from Oct. 21-29 to test agile combat employment and a n… https://t.co/sZF2HgNUeI
Twitter
The Department of the Air Force will soon conduct focus groups with Total Force Airmen and Space Professionals abou… https://t.co/uPAlbUEYxt
Twitter
RT @AFGlobalStrike: For 50+ years, #MinutemanIII #ICBM fleet has underpinned our strategic force & played critical role in ensuring protect…
Twitter
RT @RealAFOSI: Between Oct. 20 and 21, 2020, Iranian threat actors conducted an information operations campaign by sending emails, masquera…
Twitter
Ready day or night The 8th Fighter Wing at @KunsanAirBase stands ready to conduct counter-air, air interdiction,… https://t.co/8FzXyQPwFo
Twitter
RT @SpaceForceDoD: Vice Chief of Space Operations tests positive for COVID-19 https://t.co/El9DBFkpAg
Twitter
Global reach Approximately 200 Airmen and four B-1B Lancer aircraft with the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron from… https://t.co/XdxCzteeGx
Twitter
Small business partnerships 🤝 @AFWERX is recommending more than 250 proposals as part of its X20D Small Business… https://t.co/vzVcj7Idfc
Twitter
Rapid strategic delivery 📦 The 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, deployed with @USAFCENT, is responsible for… https://t.co/WxSke8iXnG
Twitter
Fulfilling mission-critical requirements The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently granted the #USAF a patent… https://t.co/wtf5K6NITn
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Looking forward to this dialogue today with Dr. Austin.
Twitter
Accelerating change Airmen from the 366th Fighter Wing and 389th Fighter Squadron participate in Agile Flag 21-1 a… https://t.co/07r8CmEgl9
Twitter
Rolling out new tech The Air Force Civil Engineer Center made its first delivery of a new medium-size explosive or… https://t.co/Gj0PUVeQ6S
Twitter
#InnovativeAF @NASA representatives presented new medical diagnostic technology, the E-Nose Breathalyzer, which wi… https://t.co/mUzpASXPGm
Twitter
Pitstop ⛽️ A C-17 Globemaster pilot checks the alignment of a KC-135 Stratotankers aerial refueling boom. The flyi… https://t.co/ovgj9rh3uV
Twitter
The 23rd Security Forces Squadron at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, will be the first to receive the new system.… https://t.co/UsQNUTdoNE
Twitter
New EOD robots are coming 🤖 Over the next 16-18 months, the Air Force Civil Engineer Center will deliver 333 high… https://t.co/wCmAo5GzDm
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,298,716
Follow Us