TULSA, Okla. (KFOR) – An Oklahoma Air National Guard lieutenant colonel was recently honored for his actions during a Taliban attack.
On Sunday, the Oklahoma Air National Guard held a ceremony to celebrate the heroic actions of Lt. Col. Michael Coloney.
In 2018, Coloney deployed to Afghanistan with the 125th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron.
On April 30, troops were engaged by over 80 specially trained Taliban fighters as they worked to clear a village in the Kapisa province.
The Taliban fighters used small arms, high-powered machine guns, sniper units, rockets, and grenades in the attack. As a result, there were 11 casualties, including one American.
At the time of the attack, Coloney was airborne and was immediately tasked to provide air support. For approximately five hours, Coloney worked to employ GPS guided bombs and high angle strafe attacks on the enemy.
Officials say his work saved the lives of American and Afghan Special Forces troops, which earned him the Distinguished Flying Cross.
The Distinguished Flying Cross is awarded for heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight. It is the fourth highest award for heroism and is the highest award given for extraordinary aerial achievement.