KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — U.S. Air Forces in Europe leaders have awarded the USAFE Medal of Distinction to German civilian Horst Mehlinger, who served as a security liaison between USAFE and the Rhineland-Palatinate law enforcement agencies for nearly 30 years, according to a USAFE news release.

Mehlinger began working for the command after the August 1981 Red Army Faction bombing of USAFE headquarters. Following the incident, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations formed the Protective Security Detail, which works with host-nation security agencies to protect the USAFE commander while he is off-base. Mehlinger led that detail.

The USAFE Medal of Distinction is awarded to non-U.S. citizens in recognition of extraordinary service, achievements, or support to the accomplishment of the mission of USAFE.

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