Air Force

October 5, 2012

Remembering fallen Pedro 66 Airmen

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — “These things we do that others may live.”

For members of the rescue community these words are more than a simple saying. It’s an oath; that no matter the danger they are placed in, if there is an opportunity to save lives, they will never hesitate to carry out their rescue mission.

Nearly 10 years ago, Capt. David Wisniewski, a former 66th Rescue Squadron HH-60 Pave Hawk pilot, exited the U.S. Air Force Academy with the goal of joining the rescue community and upholding the oath that so many others cherish.

While attempting to save lives during a casualty evacuation operation in southeastern Afghanistan June 9, 2010, Wisniewski and the crew of “Pedro 66” crashed. Five of the seven members of the crew died including Wisniewski.

Members from the 34th Weapons Squadron and 66th Rescue Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., attended a ceremony here Sept. 28, remembering Wisniewski’s sacrifice and his devotion to duty.

“David was the best of what the Air Force had to offer,” said Maj. Russell Cook, 34th Weapon Squadron director of operations. “He was the ultimate combat leader and tactician.”

“This is all very special to us,” said Chet Wisniewski, the captain’s father. “We view the Air Force community as an extended family, and they opened their arms to us in our time of need. It’s nice to see everyone here dedicating a man that we feel had the potential to make a difference in the lives of others.”

During the ceremony, Airmen from Wisniewski’s former squadron and his parents joined academy cadets, as they unveiled a new memorial dedicated in his honor.

“It was an honor and privilege to be present for the dedication of the memorial to Captain Wisniewski,” said Lt. Col. Cedric Stark, 34th Weapons Squadron commander. “It’s always an honor to remember the heroes of ‘Pedro 66’ who gave their lives for the sake of saving others.”

David’s father also thanked the crowd before adding an American flag to the memorial. He explained that the flag was always in David’s pocket during his son’s countless evacuation missions.

“My son was a true patriot, who loved his country and his fellow Airmen,” Wisniewski said.

He later went on to say the flag was one of the items found in David’s pocket following the crash which would eventually claim his son’s life.

“I am honored to include in this memorial one of the things my son held most dear to his heart,” he added.

The memorial also consisted of several pictures and items chronicling his life and service in the Air Force. The memorial will become a permanent fixture at Cadet Squadron 26, Wisniewski’s cadet squadron during his time at the Academy.

More than 3,000 service members deployed to Southwest Asia have given their lives in defense of the region. Without rescue Airmen like Wisniewski and their devotion to service, it’s possible that number could have doubled.

“David died doing what he loved to do; save lives,” Wisniewski said. “He never thought twice about going into impossible situations so that others may live.”

Editor’s Note: Senior Airman Michael Charles, 99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs contributed to the writing of this article.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Nellis prepared for Air Force Fitness Management System upgrade

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The Air Force Fitness Management System, or AFFMS, will be offline from Dec. 31-Jan. 11 to enable Air Force Personnel Center teams to transition content to the improved Air Force Fitness Management System II. The new system – AFFMS II – will improve accessibility and fitness program managers’ ability...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Guerrero

82nd Airborne integrates with USAFWS for JFE 14B

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Guerrero Eleven C-130H Hercules’ from various Air National Guard units and 13 C-130J Super Hercules’ from the 317th Airlift Group at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, prepare to...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle

Sweet treats delivered to Airmen in dorms

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Airman 1st Class Devonte Robinson, 99th Medical Support Squadron (left) receives a freshly baked cookies from Master Sgt. Sharon Tyree, 99th MDSS first sergeant, during the...
 

 

Thunderbirds release 2015 show schedule

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds have finalized their 2015 show schedule. In its 62nd season, the team is slated to perform 71 demonstrations at 39 locations. The flying unit, officially known as the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, will perform its first public flyover of 2015 at the...
 
 
Courtesy photo

SecAF: ISIL fight requires comprehensive approach

Courtesy photo Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James WASHINGTON — The air campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is working as part of the ongoing joint effort to disrupt, degrade and destroy the terrorist ...
 
 

Family Dynamics: CMSAF, wife Athena talk about AF life at home

U.S. Air Force photo by Michael J. Pausic Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody and his wife, Athena, pose for a photo at the Air Force Association’s 2013 Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition Sept.16, 2013, in Washington D.C. FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. — In a special edition of...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin