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​Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at AFA's Air and Space Conference on Sept. 16, 2015. Staff photo by Kristina Parrill.

​During his speech at ASC15, Defense Secretary Ash Carter highlighted SrA.​ Dustin Temple, the most recent recipient of the Air Force Cross, who “exemplified the commitment of our Air Force and what it means to our military.” Temple was awarded the medal in May for his actions in a battle in the Helmand River Valley of Afghanistan, where he was responsible for saving dozens of teammates. During the battle, his team came under heavy fire and a sniper hit a teammate. Temple dragged the soldier from a rooftop and carried him across 100 meters of open terrain. The fight went on for hours, and supplies began to run out. Temple twice ran into the open to reach a supply helicopter. Over 48 hours, Temple and his teammates controlled 20 fixed wing aircraft and 28 attack helicopters through 26 engagements, saving 38 friendly forces. “The kind of strength and resolve that Dustin Temple and his team showed is in the DNA of so many of our airmen,” Carter said. “For our airmen ‘fight tonight’ is not just a slogan. It’s a mindset they carry with them.” (See also Under Control from the July issue of Air Force Magazine.)