CITATION TO ACCOMPANY THE AWARD OF
THE AIR RESCUE ASSOCIATION RICHARD T. KIGHT AWARD FOR 2021 TO
MASTER SERGEANT MATTHEW C. BLANKENSHIP
Master Sergeant Matthew C. Blankenship distinguished himself as Chief of Standardization and Evaluation, 57th Rescue Squadron, 31st Operations Group, 31st Fighter Wing, Aviano Air Base, Italy from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021. Sergeant Blankenship led a team of nine Pararescuemen postured to provide emergency response and rescue for the first commercial crew manned space flight mission to the International Space Station. Additionally, he was the Senior Enlisted leader for 42 personnel during a joint deployment with the United States Army where his unit supported 45 special operations missions across the Combatant Command. Finally, Sergeant Blankenship oversaw multiple inspection programs for the squadron, correcting multiple critical deficiencies and bringing the squadron into compliance in record time. The distinctive accomplishments of Sergeant Blankenship reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.