315th Airlift Wing Raven Receives Distinguished Flying Cross

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Haley Phillips
  • 315th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
A member of the Air Force Reserve's 315th Airlift Wing was presented the Distinguished Flying Cross during a ceremony held at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina March 21, 2024.

Tech. Sgt. Matthew J. Miller, Raven program manager for the 315th Security Forces Squadron, received the Distinguished Flying Cross for his efforts as part of Operation Allies Refuge, during which he helped firsthand to evacuate hundreds of people from Afghanistan.

The Distinguished Flying Cross is presented to persons who distinguish themselves by single acts of heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight.

The medal was presented by 315th Airlift Wing Commander Col. Stephen Lanier.

Ravens are specially trained Security Forces personnel dedicated to providing force protection for Mobility Air Force aircraft transiting through austere locations with potentially high terrorist and criminal threat levels.

“It’s a specialized mission, you go with the aircraft and make sure that there is adequate security for that aircraft and its personnel,” said Miller. 

Miller highlighted the fact that the experience underscored the need to always be ready for rapid global deployment at any time.

“Being in the Reserve, we are the first to deploy and we can get called up at a moment’s notice,” he continued. “So it is critical to mission success to be fit to fight.”

Operation Allies Refuge was an evacuation effort carried out by the United States during the 2021 Taliban offensive. It took place in the final weeks of the war in Afghanistan and saw the airlifting of certain at-risk Afghan civilians (particularly coalition-allied interpreters), employees of the American embassy in Kabul, and other prospective applicants for the U.S. Special Immigrant Visa. American personnel also helped NATO and other regional allies in their respective evacuation efforts from Hamid Karzai International Airport in the capital city of Kabul. The operation was concurrent with the broader American military withdrawal from Afghanistan and the multinational evacuation of eligible foreigners and vulnerable Afghans.

For more information on the 315th Airlift Wing, visit https://www.315aw.afrc.af.mil/