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PersonID890790
Name (Last, First Middle)Chesnutt, Julian M
Branch at time of eventUSAF
RankMajor
Graduation1989
SquadronCS 20
Home Town
Home State
High School
High School Activities
Post High School
Academy ExperiencesSoaring
Academic Degree MajorBS-Physics USAFA 1989 MS-NCState 1996 ACSC(R)
Active Duty AssignmentsPltTng,SheppardAFB;91:OsanAB,ROK;92:PopeAFB;94:Cmdr,22ASOF.USArmySpecOpnsCmd,FtBragg;97:Plt,555TFS,AvianoAB,IT;00:InstrPlt/FltCmdr/DepChInstructor,F-16,56TRS,LukeAFB;StuAirCSC,MaxwellAFB, USAF Air Attache,Pakistan
Civilian Positions
Award Year2001
Award Summary InformationJulian M. Chesnutt, United States Air Force academy Class of 1989, distinguished himself as an F-16 aircraft commander and flight during a night strike mission against a special operations training facility as a part of Operation ALLIED FORCE. Braving the most heavily defended airspace in Yugoslavia, Major Chesnutt led the first strike formation of the attack into enemy territory. Prior to reaching the training facility, Major Chesnutt was sighted and targeted by enemy radar. In a matter of seconds, the Yugoslav Army launched an SA 6 surface-to-air missile from beneath his aircraft and two SA-6 missiles from a position approximately 10 miles away. Major Chesnutt and his wingman skillfully evaded the first missile, while simultaneously turning to visually acquire and evade the remaining threats. Major Chesnutt then fallowed the smoke trails from the missile back to the location of the SAM site. Using his night vision goggles as a guide, Major Chesnutt activated his infrared targeting pod to pinpoint the exact position of the missile battery. Clearing the rest of his formation to the planned target area, Major Chesnutt continued his solo attack on the active missile site. Major Chesnutt quickly notified the supporting F-16CJ of his attack, and requested an anti-radar missile to cover his strike. He further demonstrated exceptional skill and courage, keeping his aircraft steady to ensure a good radar lock and subsequently scoring a direct hit on the target--an act that exposed him to counterattack from various defenses surrounding the site. He then rejoined his formation, led a pre-planned second strike on the special operations facility, and scored another direct hit with the remaining bombs. Major Chesnutt, at that point critically low on fuel, led his formation out of Belgrade to safety recording 100 percent mission effectiveness and no losses or collateral damage. Major Chesnutt's outstanding poise, bravery, and professional expertise as flight lead resulted in a highly successful strike mission under extreme combat conditions.
Involved Crew MembersNone
Burial Site/DateN/A
Aeronautical Speciality RatingCommand Pilot
Notable Military and Civilian Decorations & Awards
CommentsColonel,USAF,2008
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