President Barack Obama awarded former Army Sgt. Kyle Jerome White the Medal of Honor during a May 13 White House ceremony. He is the 14th Iraq or Afghanistan veteran to receive the nation’s highest military honor, states a May 14 Pentagon release. “Today we pay tribute to a soldier who embodies the courage of his generation—a young man who was a freshman in high school when the Twin Towers fell, and who just five years later became an elite paratrooper with the legendary 173rd Airborne,” said Obama. On Nov. 9, 2007, White’s unit and a squad of Afghan soldiers were ambushed in the village of Aranas in Afghanistan’s Nuristan province. White repeatedly risked his own life to provide aid to his wounded comrades. He secured a radio and called for mortars, artillery, air strikes, and helicopter guns runs. Despite intense RPG and AK-47 attacks, White also secured a landing zone and assisted the flight medic by hoisting all the wounded aboard before he would allow himself to be evacuated. Despite his effort, five US soldiers and one marine were killed in the Battle of Aranas. White told reporters after the ceremony that those “six fallen brothers … are my heroes.” White also noted that he accepted the MOH on behalf of his entire team. White was inducted into the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes on Wednesday, according to a May 14 release. (Obama speech)
A pair of B-1 Lancers flew from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., to Luleå-Kallax Air Base, Sweden, to start a Bomber Task Force deployment on Feb. 23, marking the latest stop in the Air Force’s effort to showcase the reach of U.S. airpower and strengthen ties with allies and partners.