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.


 
 

 

New Commander addresses Airmen of 12th Air Force

To all of the 12th Air Force Community, Happy Holidays! My wife Kristan, my three children, and I are excited to join this outstanding 12th AF community.  I cannot adequately express how honored and humbled I feel to join this community as the Commander.   I certainly appreciate the exceptional efforts of General and Mrs....
 
 
(AFSOUTH)

New commander to take reins of 12th AF, AFSOUTH

Twelfth Air Force and Air Forces Southern will welcome a new commander during a change of command ceremony Dec. 19 at 10 a.m. at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Major Gen. Chris Nowland will be promoted to the rank of lieutenant ...
 
 
DiamondSharp_pict

Diamond Sharp December 19, 2014

Name/Squadron: Senior Airman Jemima Santiago / 355 MDSS First Sergeant: Senior Master Sgt. Richard Davis Duty Title: Biomedical Equipment Apprentice When joined the Air Force: Dec. 4, 2012 Hometown: Los Angeles, CA Hobbies: Vol...
 

 
(U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brian A. Barbour)

Guard Muster brings Arizona together

TEMPE, Ariz. — They mustered for overseas contingencies and domestic emergencies and recently the men and women of the Arizona National Guard mustered to honor the service and sacrifice of all Arizona veterans at Arizon...
 
 

479 selected for top enlisted rank

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) —  Of the 2,525 senior master sergeants eligible for promotion to chief, 479 were selected for an 18.97 percent selection rate, Air Force Personnel Center officials announced Nov. 20. To see the selection list, go to the Air Force Portal, or myPers. Airmen will be able to access their...
 
 
DiamondSHarp_pict

Diamond Sharp November 14, 2104

Name/Squadron: Tech. Sgt. Alisha Welch / 923 AMXS First Sergeant: Master Sgt. Ron Smith Duty Title: C-130J NCOIC When joined the AF: Jul 23, 2003 Hometown: Turbotville, PA Hobbies: HITT/Weight Training, Education, Canning/Food ...
 




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