Awards News > 2010 Mackay Trophy Recipients
Heroic F-15E Pilots and Crew to Receive 2010 Mackay Trophy
The United States Air Force and the National Aeronautic Association announce that the recipients of the 2010 Mackay Trophy are: Lieutenant Colonel Donald D. Cornwell, Lieutenant Colonel Dylan T. Wells, Captain Leigh P. Larkin, and First Lieutenant Nicholas R. Tsougas. These four U.S. Air Force officers who killed more than 80 Taliban fighters and saved the lives of approximately 30 coalition troops in Afghanistan last year.
The trophy is awarded annually for the most "meritorious" Air Force flight that demonstrated "gallantry, intrepidity, initiative, resourcefulness, and achievement of outstanding results in combat or non-combat conditions."
Lt Col Cornwell, Lt Col Wells, Capt Larkin, and 1st Lt. Tsougas distinguished themselves by meritorious airmanship on April 6, 2010. While operating as a flight of two F-15Es - call signs Dude 01 and Dude 02 - they were tasked to support a Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force team surrounded by over 100 enemy fighters in the town of Bala Morgab, Afghanistan.
With weather below rescue force launch minimums, Dude flight used Terrain Following Radar to execute five "Show of Force" passes in a valley surrounded by high terrain. When hostilities escalated, Dude Flight expertly employed six Joint Direct Attack Munitions, helping kill over 80 Taliban fighters who occupied reinforced positions within the town. Their efforts helped save the lives of approximately 30 coalition troops. There were no civilian causalities.
The officers will be recognized as the 2010 Mackay Trophy recipients at the NAA Fall Awards Banquet November 7, 2011 in Arlington, VA.
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