Salutes & Awards

September 19, 2013

“These things we do that others may live”

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Senior Airman Camilla A Elizeu
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
(U.S. Air National Guard photo/Airman 1st Class Jessica Green)

Airmen from the 55th Rescue Squadron will be awarded medals Sept. 20 at the 55th RQS at 2 p.m.

The Distinguished Flying Cross Medal with Valor and the Air Medal with Valor will be presented to eight Airmen for their actions during a contingency operation.

While deployed to Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, the 55th RQS members distinguished themselves by heroism when called out to a high risk mission to rescue a four critically wounded Coalition Soldiers on Dec. 10, 2012.

During the mission two HH-60G, Pave Hawks, Pedro 61 and Pedro 62 responded to an evacuation site. During the approach to insert their Guardian Angel team, both aircraft came under small arms fire and rocket propelled grenades. The plan entailed one aircraft landing while the other bravely maneuvered to engage the threats.

Meanwhile, two United States Army OH-58 attack helicopters were attempting to engage the threat but were unable to because they could not positively identify the enemy positions. With complete disregard for their own safety, the Pedro 61 and Pedro 62 maneuvered their formation, placing themselves between the enemy and friendly forces.

This allowed them to engage the threats themselves marking the enemy for the attack helicopters.

Their actions allowed the attack helicopters to destroy the enemy position and give them enough safe cover to return to the hot landing zone to complete their mission of evacuating the critically wounded. Their actions also protected more than 25 Coalition Soldiers on the battlefield during this exchange.

Airmen receiving Distinguished Flying Cross

Capt. Brian Dicks
Capt. Charles Napier
Master Sgt. William Fritsch
Staff Sgt. Joshua Reid

Airmen receiving Air Medal with Valor

Capt. Ryan Prince
Capt. Patrick Mount
Technical Sgt. Justin Wilks
Staff Sgt. Jason St John




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