October 23, 2001 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Capt. Craig Marion of the 366th Wing, 389th FS of Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, has won the 2001 Semper Viper Award for his actions during an F-16 mission over Afghanistan.
Marion launched from Al Udeid AB, Qatar, in November 2001 as a flight lead for a two-ship F-16 force. This grueling and noteworthy mission ended more than eight hours later after the successful defense of an Army Special Forces unit leading a convoy of more than 1,000 anti-Taliban forces near Kandahar, Afghanistan.
The award was presented to Marion in October by representatives from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company.
The Semper Viper Award pays tribute to pilots demonstrating airmanship skills noteworthy of its namesake, the late Joe Bill Dryden. The award program began in 1996. A selection panel from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company evaluates candidates who carry on Joe Bill's tradition of excellence in airmanship and system knowledge.