A suburban Philadelphia airman is being awarded the Air Force's highest honor.
Capt. Barry F. Crawford, Jr. will receive the Air Force Cross in a Pentagon ceremony Thursday for "extraordinary heroism'' in a battle with Taliban insurgents in 2010.
Crawford is a combat controller who calls in air strikes and provides communications in covert missions. But in a 14-hour operation, the Air Force says he also battled with insurgents and saved two wounded Afghan, exposing himself to insurgent fire -- all the while controlling nearly three dozen aircraft and calling in more than 40 strafing and bombing strikes.
According to AirForce Magazine, "Crawford will become the fifth Air Force special operator to receive the Air Force Cross since Sept. 11, 2001, and only the third living recipient to receive the award during that same time period."