16 Special Operations Squadron
- ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
KIA - see Roll of Honour
ROLL OF HONOUR:https://www.specialforcesroh.com/index.php?threads/bland-thomas-clifford-jr.20882/
Silver Star : The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to First Lieutenant Thomas Clifford Bland, Jr., United States Air Force, for gallantry in connection with military operations against the forces of the Republic of Iraq, while serving as Co-Pilot of AC-130H Spectre Gunship "Spirit 03", of the 16th Special Operations Squadron, U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command, in action near the Kuwaiti border while supporting U.S. Marine Corps operations during the first Iraq offensive, on 31 January 1991. On that date, while performing an Operation DESERT STORM AC-130H armed reconnaissance mission, Lieutenant Bland was tasked to engage a free rocket over ground missile site. As the gunship Co-Pilot, Lieutenant Bland assisted the pilot as he began firing 40 and 105 millimeter munitions at the target. While engaging the target, the aircrew received heavy fire from numerous anti-aircraft artillery sites. His courageous and aggressive attack continued while under unceasing anti-aircraft artillery fire preventing a missile attack on allied coalition forces. The actions of Lieutenant Blank aided the allied forces in repelling the Iraqi Army incursion south into the Saudi Arabia border town of Khafji. The professional competence, aerial skill, and devotion to duty displayed by First Lieutenant Bland in the dedication of this service to his country reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
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