- Associated Press - Monday, May 15, 2017

CLOVIS, N.M. (AP) - An Air Force officer assigned to a special operations unit at Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico is being honored for his actions while under enemy gunfire in the African nation of Djibouti (jih-BOO’-tee) in 2013.

Base officials planned Monday to present the Distinguished Flying Cross to Maj. William J. Mendel.

Mendel is now assigned to the 20th Special Operations Wing at Cannon but was a captain and an aircraft commander in the 8th Expeditionary Special Operations Squadron in late 2013.

Cannon officials did not respond to a request for details of how Mendel earned the decoration but a statement announcing the ceremony cited “his quick-thinking actions under heavy enemy gunfire.”

Mendel flies the C-22 Osprey, an aircraft that can fly like a plane and land like a helicopter.

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