Steven B. Barnes

The President of the United States takes great pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Lieutenant Commander Steven B. Barnes for heroism while participating in aerial flight as Bombardier/Navigator flying an A-6 Intruder aircraft while serving with Attack Squadron 155 embarked in USS Ranger (CV 61) on 18 January 1991. As a strike element leader and mission commander in a flight of four A-6E Intruder aircraft, Lieutenant Commander Barnes directed the strike element, at night, in spite of a fully-operational enemy air defense system and low-lying fog in the target area. He skillfully prosecuted the mining attack against a key Iraqi naval port facility at Umm Qasr, which was functioning as an enemy berthing area for Iraqi Navy patrol gun boats. Descending his aircraft to optimize the weapons delivery envelope, despite the hampering weather, a fierce barrage of anti-aircraft artillery fire and a surface-to-air missile threat, Lieutenant Commander Barnes accurately delivered his mines into the assigned minefield, thereby sealing this enemy port for the first week of hostilities. By his aggressive leadership, superb airmanship, and courageous devotion to duty in the face of hazardous flying conditions, Lieutenant Commander reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Navy Service.