By: Nic Dezinski
Published: Tuesday, February 02, 2014
During a 7.5-hour mission, two HH-60 Pave Hawk crews made a 320-mile trip, rescuing six wounded New Zealand soldiers, an Afghan soldier, and an Afghan national and recovered the remains of two New Zealanders killed in action. They did all of this while under heavy direct fire and in temperatures sometimes rising above 100 degrees, completing their mission with just minutes of fuel remaining.
For their actions on Aug. 4, 2012, members of two pararescue crews—Pedro 83 and Pedro 84 of the 83rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan—received the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor device. USAF Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III presented the awards at Kadena AB, Japan, this past August.
Welsh said it was his honor to present five of the airmen from the mission with the medal, one of USAF’s highest decorations, and do so in front of their peers.
“They embody the spirit of airmen, by coming to the aid of others under the most difficult of circumstances,” Welsh said. “This is what they do.”