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Name (Last, First Middle)Hext, Joseph A.
Branch at time of eventUSAF
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Award Year2011
Award Summary InformationCaptain Joseph A. Hext, United States Air Force Academy Class of 2002, distinguished himself through his heroic actions in an Operation ENDURING FREEDOM sortie supporting United States Special Operations and Afghan National Army ground forces, Captain Hext is a member of United States Air Forces In Europe Command. On August 21, 2010, Captain Hext was an A-10 flight lead of a close air support mission in Oruzgan Province, Afghanistan. Shortly after sending his wingman to refuel, Captain Hext received a request for emergency close air support, as coalition forces were pinned down by a complex insurgent attack using small arms and heavy machine guns. He immediately executed a low altitude show of force that allowed the coalition forces to establish a defensive position. Taking special care to avoid fratricide, he then made three solo passes against a rapidly advancing enemy, the last a mere 15 meters from friendly forces, driving the hostile forces away. His wingman returned and after a ten- minute lull, another element came under attack. Captain Hext and his wingman surgically struck with 30mm and rockets, allowing the embattled Afghan National Army forces to fall back to a safe location. Insurgent fighters ambushed a third group of coalition forces, and Captain Hext executed another 30mm strafing run, destroying the enemy position. Captain Hext led his flight on six separate attacks on the enemy, personally employing 968 rounds of 30mm and three white phosphorous rockets. No coalition forces were lost during the three distinct encounters, Captain Hext's exceptional airmanship, leadership and tactical employment in hazardous conditions reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force,
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