CITATION TO ACCOMPANY THE AWARD OF THE SILVER STAR
Awarded for actions during the Global War on Terror
Operation Enduring Freedom - South and Central Asia - Afghanistan
Staff Sergeant Michael C. Stockdale
Staff Sergeant Michael C. Stockdale distinguished himself by gallantry in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United States from 6 December to 20 December 2001.
During this period, Sergeant Stockdale excelled in multiple missions where he was directly engaged in combat actions against Taliban and al Qaeda forces.
He provided surgical terminal attack control of close air support aircraft at a volume and accuracy not yet seen until this major offensive in the Tora Bora region of Afghanistan.
Sergeant Stockdale volunteered to move the forward most lines of the battle to assist the local Afghan opposition group's assault on the key enemy fortified stronghold. While moving to the front, he came under heavy machine gun and 82 millimeter mortar fire as close as 25 meters.
Though the other government forces stopped, without regard for his personal safety he continued to press forward. Positioned in front of most forward troops, Sergeant Stockdale directed numerous close air support missions against the enemy dug in positions while under intense two-way direct and indirect fire. His actions rallied the other government forces and directly resulted in their most successful single day advance of 1400 meters, seizing the previously impenetrable key enemy stronghold.
Sergeant Stockdale expertly controlled well over 300 close air support aircraft sorties of multiple F-15, F-16, B-1, B-52, F-14, AV-8B, and the full combat munitions expenditure of five AC-130 gunships. He skillfully ensured the pinpoint delivery of an incredible 600,000 pounds of munitions on enemy targets.
In this 3-day period he averaged 13 hours of uninterrupted close air support control daily, an amazing display of dedication, expertise, and deadly destruction.
By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Sergeant Stockdale has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.