The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Technical Sergeant Michael C. Stockdale, United States Air Force, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United States from 6 December to 20 December 2001. During this period, Sergeant Stockdale excelled in multiple missions where he was directly engaged in combat actions against Taliban and al Qaeda forces. He provided surgical terminal attack control of close air support aircraft at a volume and accuracy not yet seen until this major offensive in the Tora Bora region of Afghanistan. Sergeant Stockdale volunteered to move to the forward most lines of battle to assist the local Afghan opposition group's assault on the key enemy fortified stronghold. While moving to the front, he came under heavy machine gun and 82 millimeter mortar fire as close as 25 meters. Though the other government forces stopped, he continued to press forward with complete disregard to his own personal safety. Positioned in front of the most forward troops, Sergeant Stockdale directed numerous close air support missions against the enemy dug in positions while under intense two-way direct and indirect fire. His actions rallied the other government forces and directly resulted in their most successful single day advance of 1400 meters, seizing the previously impenetrable key enemy stronghold. Sergeant Stockdale expertly controlled well over 300 close air support aircraft sorties of multiple F-15, F-16, B-1, B-52, F-14, AV-8B, and the full combat munitions expenditure of five AC-130 gunships. He skillfully ensured the pinpoint delivery of an incredible 600,000 pounds of munitions on enemy targets. In this 3-day period he averaged 13 hours of uninterrupted close air support control daily, an amazing display of dedication, expertise, and deadly destruction. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Sergeant Stockdale has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Combat Control Association Reunion 2005; The guest speaker was Silver Star recipient TSgt Mike Stockdale who is a veteran of the Battle of Tora Bora in Afghanistan. The battle of Tora Bora took place in the White Mountains of eastern Afghanistan in late November and early December of 2001. Kabul had just fallen and a thousand or more al Qaeda leaders had fled to Tora Bora, where they holed up in the mountains' vast network of caves. The cave complex was built in the 1980s as a sanctuary for the mujahideen fighting the Soviets and equipped with food, water, weapons, electricity and a ventilation system. Bin Laden used it as his headquarters in the mid-1990s. There were hundreds of tunnels, some many miles long, with exits over the border in Pakistan. Mike provided an excellent brief on his interaction with both the local mujahideen and his Special Forces security team (they hate it when you call them that). His capabilities as a Combat Controller were the lynch pin that held this operation together through ATC, Terminal Attack Control and long range command and control. Oh yea, he stole some of Capt Billy Whites aircraft but that is another story. His brief included a Power Point presentation that really brought it all together for all in the hall that evening. Toward the end TSgt Stockdale shocked the old 304’s in the room when he pulled a radio about the size of a tissue box with an antenna on it from under the podium; this radio has UHF, VHF, FM and Satcom capabilities. It’s called a PRC-148 and is being used extensively these days. He did a great job both over there and during his brief..... Ron Childress, CCA Secretary