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Libya air campaign participants can get medal

Dec. 24, 2012 - 07:36AM   |   Last Updated: Dec. 24, 2012 - 07:36AM  |  
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Airmen who took part in air operations against former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi are now eligible for the Air and Space Campaign Medal.

The Air Force could not say how many airmen are eligible for the award. More than 400 airmen from U.S. Air Forces in Europe meet the award's requirements, officials said.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh approved the medal Oct. 28 for those who supported Operation Odyssey Dawn and Operation Unified Protector, according to a recent Air Force message.

The medal is awarded to personnel "who provided direct support of combat operations from outside a geographic area determined by the Joint Chiefs of Staff," the message said.

"Direct support is defined as deploying in support of an operation; or, if at home station, performing functions of missions that historically were deployed forward, or entirely new and future missions, which due to technological advances are no longer constrained by geographic location," the message said.

To be eligible for the award, airmen must have provided direct support for at least 30 consecutive days or 60 nonconsecutive days between Feb. 26, 2011, and Oct. 31, 2011, the message said.

Airmen who meet the criteria need to provide supporting documentation to their unit commanders, Air Force Personnel Center Mike Dickerson said in an email. Their Military Personnel Flights will update the Air Force Personnel System. The medal is not worth any promotion points, Dickerson said.

Most of the airstrikes against Libya were launched from bases in Europe. A total of 408 airmen from USAFE have received an award for supporting the operations in Libya, said Tech. Sgt. James M. Hodgman, noncommissioned officer in charge of USAFE's current operations division.

"Sixty USAFE Airmen received an award for supporting OOD [Operation Odyssey Dawn] and 348 Airmen received an award for supporting OUP [Operation Unified Protector], Hodgman said in an email. "All of these Airmen meet the requirements for the Air and Space Campaign Medal."

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