Gentner F. Drummond

The President of the United States takes great pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Captain Gentner F. Drummond for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as an air superiority Pilot at King Abdul Aziz Air Base, Saudi Arabia, on 17 January 1991. Captain Drummond was an element flight lead on the first mission into Iraq. His flight tasking was to provide pre-strike sweep of central Iraq during the cover of darkness. During the egress phase of the mission, Captain Drummond was directed to commit on and engage an aircraft who was identified as hostile by the Airborne Warning and Control System. Because of Airborne Warning and Control System’s declaration of hostile and clearance to fire, Captain Drummond was absolved of any requirement to positively identify his target as hostile. Nonetheless, Captain Drummond executed the elaborate manual and electronic identification process while overcoming the complications of night weather, a low fuel state, and heavy anti-aircraft artillery defenses. Determined to achieve an onboard positive hostile identification, Captain Drummond delayed missile launch despite personal risk. At the last possible moment, he achieved positive friendly identification. Captain Drummond intercepted the Saudi Arabian Tornado which had become separated from his strike package and provided safe escort until reaching friendly territory. Captain Drummond’s superb situational awareness, airmanship and understanding of the established rules of engagement prevented the tragic loss of a valuable coalition force crew and aircraft. Additionally, Captain Drummond’s sound decisions and disciplined execution highlighted a significant shortfall in the combat identification. process. Because of his actions, all F-15 units adopted a more discriminatory approach to aircraft identification, preventing the opportunity for countless fratricides. The professional competence, aerial skill and devotion to duty displayed by Captain Drummond reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.