Air Force Tech. Sgt. Cody Smith (Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

A U.S. Air Force combat controller will receive the nation's third highest award for valor this week for playing an essential role in two intense firefight missions against the Taliban in Afghanistan last year.

Tech. Sgt. Cody Smith, an airman with the 26th Special Tactics Squadron, 24th Special Operations Wing at Air Force Special Operations Command, will receive the Silver Star at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico on Nov. 22, the service announced Monday.

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A U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft approaches Hurlburt Field, Fla., for a landing April 30, 2013, during Emerald Warrior 2013 (U.S. Air Force photo)

The Coast Guard has suspended its search for the Hurlburt Field airman who from from an C-130 Hercules transport aircraft during a training exercise over the Gulf of Mexico.

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HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. — Rescue teams are searching a 700-square-mile area of the Gulf of Mexico between Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola, looking for any sign of a 24th Special Operations Wing airman who went missing in the water late Tuesday morning after apparently falling out of a four-engine C-130 transport aircraft two miles south of Hurlburt Field.

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Tech Sgt. Peter Kraines (U.S. Air Force photo)

An Air Force special tactics pararescueman with the 24th Special Operations Wing has died in a training accident in Idaho, the Air Force announced on Thursday.

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On Dec. 6th, a sea of blue flooded a sleepy township in Pennsylvania to honor Staff Sgt. Dylan Elchin, the 25-year-old airman who was killed alongside two U.S. Army Green Berets in Afghanistan in late November.

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