Salutes & Awards

January 9, 2014

D-M member receives Bronze Star Medal with Valor

Airman 1st Class Saphfire Cook
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Whether computer-based or hands-on, military members are in a constant state of training. Some training, such as the Career Development Course new Airmen must complete, is learned and immediately applied to day-to-day operations. Others, like Self-Aid and Buddy Care, only apply to specific situations. Most Airmen have been fortunate enough to never need their SABC training, but in a foreign country more than 7,000 miles away one Airman had his skills put to the test.

Special Agent Nicolo Solarino, Air Force Office of Special Investigations Det. 217, received the Bronze Star Medal with Valor, at a ceremony held at the Mirage Club Nov. 26, for heroic actions taken while under enemy attack during a deployment in 2004.

At the time, Solarino was a senior airman assigned to the 887th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron in Southwest Asia.

“When I was growing up, I knew I wanted to do one of two things: join the military or become a cop,” Solarino said. “Security Forces afforded me the opportunity to have both sides of the coin.”

On Sept. 11, 2004, he was performing customs inspections on personnel and equipment when his post came under attack.

A 107 millimeter rocket detonated nearby and he was thrown approximately 10 feet. Once he recovered, he assessed his surroundings and noticed a fellow Airman down and suffering from life-threatening injuries.

“I could see the fear in Nic [Solarino’s] eyes and I know he could see it in mine,” said Senior Airman Brian Koflage (Ret.), wounded warrior. “I was laying there, legs and hand gone, but I was still conscious. I just remember Nic [Solarino] telling me that everything was going to be okay while he worked to save my life.”

While still under enemy fire, Solarino made his way back to his tent and retrieved SABC supplies, personal protective equipment and Koflage’s identification. Once Solarino returned, he and another Airman continued to perform emergency medical care on Koflage, all while using their bodies to shield him from subsequent rocket attacks.

“One of the things I’ve noticed about Solarino is his ability to think 10 steps ahead while staying in the present,” said SA Emily Gebo, AFOSI Det. 217 commander and the ceremony’s presiding official. “That skill is what helped him save a fellow Airman’s life that day.”

Solarino stayed with Koflage until emergency medical personnel arrived and transported him to a field hospital.

“After what we went through together that day, our paths are forever intertwined,” Solarino said.

As a boy, Solarino collected Gulf War and Desert Storm trading cards. To commemorate his heroics, Koflage went to a card company and had a trading card made in Solarino’s honor.

“My actions that day are forever memorialized on this card,” Solarino said. “As someone who collected these types of cards, this is a huge honor.”

The ceremony was attended by family members, base leadership and Congressman Ron Barber, second district of Arizona representative.

“Solarino is a quiet and humble professional,” Gebo said. “If it wasn’t for the efforts of Senior Airman Koflage to get him recognized, we may never have even known about his actions.”

The Bronze Star is awarded for heroic or meritorious achievement of service and is the eighth highest award that can be received. It is one of only four medals presented for heroism.

“A lot of credit goes to the doctors who worked on me after the attack and, yes, ultimately they saved my life,” said Koflage. “But I think about it like this: if not for Nic [Solarino] and what he did, they wouldn’t have even had the chance.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Doolittle Tokyo Raiders to receive Congressional Gold Medal

(U.S. Air Force photo) On April 18, 1942, Airmen of the U.S. Army Air Forces, led by Lt. Col. James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle, carried the Battle of the Pacific to the heart of the Japanese empire with a surprising and daring raid on military targets at Tokyo, Yokohama, Yokosuka, Nagoya, and Kobe. This heroic attack...
 
 

Gold Star Families to receive unique acknowledgement

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. — Some memorials aren’t inlaid with platinum, or ten feet tall, or carved out of Italian Marble. According to reports, for Capt. Nathan Nylander, an Air Force meteorologist, April 27, 2011, was just another day on deployment. The Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, Airman was deployed and at a meeting...
 
 

Mentorship, adaptability key for recognized Airmen at OSAY

PHOENIX, Ariz. — Arizona’s military citizenry honored the best of its air and ground power at the Arizona Grand Resort and Spa here March 21. The 162nd Wing nominees at the Arizona National Guard’s 2015 Outstanding Soldiers and Airmen of the Year (OSAY) Banquet were as follows: For Airman of the Year category: Senior Airman Nicholas Hoffman,...
 

 
DiamondSharp_pict

Diamond Sharp March 20, 2015

Name/Squadron: Staff Sgt. Mariam C. Bufford/ 355 SFS First Sergeant: Master Sgt. Justin Mitchell Duty Title: Response Force Leader When joined the Air Force: May 20, 2006 Hometown: El Paso, TX Hobbies: Volunteering, education, ...
 
 

‘Making energy efficiency a consideration in all we do’

D-M was recognized for being an energy efficiency installation by Tucson Electric Power during the Bright Energy Efficiency award presentation at TEP’s headquarters building, Feb. 11, 2015. The BrightEE award is given to customers who have reduced their energy use and lowered their monthly electric bills by adopting significant energy efficiency measures according to TEP....
 
 

2014 Air Force safety awards announced, D-M a big winner

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFNS) — Air Force Chief of Safety Maj. Gen. Kurt F. Neubauer recently announced the recipients of the Secretary of the Air Force, Chief of Staff and Chief of Safety Awards for 2014. The 355th Fighter Wing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base earned the “Air Force Chief of Safety Outstanding...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin