Why did the U.S. Air Force withhold the names of five remotely piloted aircraft operators who just received the services’ historic, first-ever medal with an “R” device for remote operations?
That’s the first thing I wondered after reading through this story from Air Force Times, which detailed the awarding of Meritorious Service Medals or Air Force Commendation Medals to five airmen at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada. It noted that their “surnames were all withheld from the press release.”
An Air Force spokeswoman told me it’s not an official policy to withhold the names of drone operators, but it is a “practice” that is sometimes used in the community. Keeping their names out of the limelight is due to the “tactical details of their job and their security.”
Hmm. Okay. Here’s what they did:
Retired Maj. Asa and Capt. Evan received an award for finding, tracking, and eventually taking