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Air Force Cross Recipient

SrA Dustin H. Temple

Operation Enduring Freedom

September 27, 2014

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Title 10, Section 8742, U.S.C, awards the Air Force Cross to Senior Airman Dustin H. Temple for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an armed enemy of the United States while serving with the 21st Expeditionary Special Tactics Squadron in Helmand Province, Afghanistan from 27 to 29 September 2014.

On these days, while attached to a United States Special Forces team, Airman Temple displayed extraordinary bravery and complete disregard for his own life as he and his teammates assaulted an insurgent safe haven. As overwhelming hostile fire continually suppressed his team, Airman Temple broke the assault on many occasions with danger close air support from F-16s, AH-1s, AC-130s and an MQ-1. Following a teammate being gravely wounded by a sniper, he put himself directly in the line of fire, and dragged his wounded teammate from the rooftop. With the evacuation helicopter inbound, Airman Temple again risked his own life to save his teammate, by carrying him across one hundred meters of open terrain. Despite overwhelming and accurate enemy machine gun fire, he remained on the open landing zone, providing covering fire while his teammates pulled back.

After he returned to the compound, enemy fighters surged within 40 meters after intercepted communications stated, "Take the Americans alive." Airman Temple immediately directed F-16s in danger close strafing runs, killing one insurgent and repelling the assault. As supplies dwindled, he braved open terrain again to retrieve critical ammunition from a re-supply helicopter. With continuous machine gun fire, he and a teammate sprinted into the open and dragged the supplies off the aircraft; however, unable to carry the entire load, they withdrew back to cover. Airman Temple called in danger close fires from F-16s to cover his team as they went out to retrieve the remaining ammunition. Despite the continuous machine gun fire, Airman Temple and two teammates again ran into open terrain to retrieve the remainder of the supplies for a second time.

At the end of the 48-hour engagement, he controlled 28 attack helicopters and 20 fixed wing assets for a total of 26 engagements while safely employing munitions at danger close range 75 times.

Airman Temple's heroic and selfless actions directly resulted in confirmed 10 enemy fighters killed, and another eight estimated killed, while saving the lives of 38 friendly forces.

Through his extraordinary heroism, superb Airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Airman Temple has reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: September 27 - 29, 2014

Service: Air Force

Rank: Senior Airman

Battalion: 21st Expeditionary Special Tactics Squadron

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