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.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald

40 years of Red Flag at Nellis

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald A flight of F-15 Eagles and F-16 Fighting Falcons Aggressors fly in formation over the Nevada Test and Training Ranges June 5, 2008. The proposal for Red Flag came in early...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika

Airman pulls woman from burning vehicle

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika Tech. Sgt. Justin Mahana, 823rd Maintenance Squadron support section chief, poses in front of an HH-60G Pave Hawk at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Jan. 20. On Jan. 6, Mahana pulled...
 
 

Airman leads way in combating sexual assault

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Rape is a dirty word. But it’s not the word that is dirty, it’s the action. At a U.S. Air Force Warfare Center reporting unit, one Airman is going above and beyond to combat this violation to the Air Force, its Airmen and its mission. And the service’s leadership...
 

 

Air Force senior leadership addresses need to stabilize RPA enterprise

WASHINGTON — During a State of the Air Force address held at the Pentagon,Jan. 15, Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James announced immediate preliminary steps to develop a get-well plan to improve the health of the MQ-1B Predator and MQ-9 Reaper enterprise in light of extensive combatant commander operational needs. “(Intelligence, surveillance and...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika

F-35 arrival begins new era at USAFWS

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika Capt. Brent Golden, 16th Weapons Squadron instructor, taxis an F-35A Lightning II at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Jan. 15. The F-35 Golden flew is the U.S. Air Force Weapons Schoo...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler

SMART program keeps medical Airmen mission ready for future conflicts

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler Brig. Gen. Sean Murphy (far left), Air Combat Command command surgeon, Lt. Gen. Thomas Travis (center), U.S. Air Force surgeon general and Maj. Gen. Dorothy Hogg (far right)...
 




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