Wed, Apr 11, 2012
Awarded For 'Most Meritorious Flight Of The Year' By An Air Force Person
The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) will present the 2011 Mackay Trophy to the members of the crews of Petro 83 flight. The crews of Pedro 83 Flight distinguished themselves in Combat Search and Rescue operations on 23 April 2011 while assigned to the 83d Expeditionary Rescue Squadron, Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan.
On that date, Pedro 83 Flight executed the daring rescue of two United States Army pilots downed in enemy-controlled territory east of Bagram. During infiltration, Pedro 84 was struck by enemy fire, severely injuring the flight engineer. As Pedro 84 returned to base for medical treatment, Pedro 83 provided emergency close air support for pararescuemen on the ground, ultimately braving a hail of small arms fire to rescue a downed pilot. While low on fuel, damaged by enemy fire and battling multiple aircraft emergencies, Pedro 83 remained on scene until Pedro 84 returned with a reconstituted crew. Pedro 84 made two attempts to recover the second pilot and their isolated pararescueman team, who were surrounded by insurgents, but was repelled by heavy enemy fire. Although Pedro 84 had been hit more than ten times and two crewmembers received damage to their protective equipment, they remained overhead until Pedro 83 returned.
Pedro 83 flight made three approaches into the besieged landing zone, but was forced to go around after exchanging fire with a fortified enemy within 100 meters. On the fourth attempt, Pedro 83 was able to land and evacuate an Army soldier critically wounded during ground recovery attempts while Pedro 84 hoisted the second pilot and pararescueman team successfully ending six hours of intense coalition rescue operations. The singularly distinctive accomplishments of the crews of Pedro 83 Flight reflect great credit upon themselves and the United States Air Force.
The Mackay Trophy will be presented at the NAA Fall Awards. It was first presented by Clarence Mackay in 1912 and deeded to the National Aeronautic Association. Administered by the United States Air Force and NAA, the trophy is awarded for the "most meritorious flight of the year" by an Air Force person, persons, or organization.
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