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Hall of Fame Inductees


control forces, he simultaneously led his squadron to earn outstanding ratings during major command Readiness Inspections. Among his many decorations and awards is the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal with 6 OLC’s, the Air Medal with 1 OLC and the Air Force Commendation Medal with 4 OLC’s. The singularly distinctive accomplishments of CMSgt Crutchfield reflect great credit upon himself, Air Force Special Operations and the United States Air Force.


GEORGE C. FERKES Colonel George C. Ferkes is the epitome of an Air Commando and is revered for his character, integrity and outstanding commitment to special operations. As a distinguished leader, extraordinary commander and highly decorated Vietnam combat veteran, Col Ferkes has made monumental contributions to the Air Force and special operations community. Throughout his 30 year active duty military career he has embodied the valiant spirit, pride and unique attitude that personify an Air Commando. Always at the forefront of special operations capabilities and actions, he was a key participant and primary crewmember in Operation Eagle Claw, the military mission to rescue American hostages being held in Iran. Following this failed rescue attempt he was selected and flew in Project Honey Badger preparing for another rescue attempt and while there, made significant contributions to the fixed-wing night vision goggle procedures. While assigned to the Joint Special Operations Command in Ft Bragg as a joint air operations staff officer, he was deeply involved in planning the invasion of Grenada and supported operations associated with the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847 as well as the 1985 Achille Lauro cruise ship hijacking. From his heroic efforts during the trying times of Desert One to the numerous memorials, projects and


www.aircommando.org


boards he is involved with today, Col Ferkes exemplifies sacrifice and service. Among his many decorations and awards is the Silver Star, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished flying Cross, Defense Meritorious Service Medal with 1 OLC, Meritorious Service Medal with 2 OLC’s and the Air Medal with 8 OLC’s Col Ferkes’ outstanding contributions reflect great credit upon himself, Air Force Special Operations and the United States Air Force.


TIMOTHY R. MINISH Colonel Timothy R. Minish distinguished himself while assigned to multiple Air Commando organizations during his outstanding twenty-five year military career. In each, he left a legacy of successful leadership and improvements in helicopter combat tactics and mission planning. Early on he greatly improved and refined helicopter gunnery, multi-ship formation, electronic- countermeasures tactics and mission planning. Many of these tactics were used by helicopter crews during Operation JUST CAUSE in 1989 and continue to the present day War on Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq. Colonel Minish’s defining achievement was his spider route mission planning. In 1990 as the squadron’s lead planner, Colonel Minish capitalized on the MH-53J’s new enhanced navigation system and developed a network of over one hundred data points allowing Pave Low crews to rapidly execute a combat mission. Early in Operation DESERT STORM, these spider routes assisted 20th Special Operations Squadron aircrews in the successful rescue of a United States Navy pilot and other


joint special operations missions. Eight years later during the Kosovo conflict, Colonel Minish guided his team of Plans Officers in building spider routes into Serbia where again, special operations aircrews successfully recovered United States Air Force pilots averting their capture. Later as Commander of the Joint Special Operations Air Component, he led the application of specialized airpower supporting operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Among his many awards and decorations are the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal with I OLC, the Meritorious service Medal with 4 OLC, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and the Air Medal with 3 OLC. Colonel Minish’s outstanding contributions reflect great credit upon himself, Air Force Special Operations and the United States Air Force.


Fall 2011 │ AIR COMMANDO JOURNAL │ 49


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