Awards News > 2011 Mackay Trophy to be Presented to USAF Pedro 83 Flight Crews
2011 Mackay Trophy to be Awarded
Air Force Pedro 83 Flight Crews
Each year the Mackay Trophy is presented to the "most meritorious flight of the year" by an Air Force person, persons, or organization. The United State Air Force determines the winner and NAA presents the trophy to the winner at the NAA Fall Awards Banquet, which will be held on November 13, 2012.
The winners of the 2011 Mackay Trophy are the crews of Pedro 83 Flight, who distinguished themselves in combat search and rescue operations on April 23, 2011 while assigned to the 83rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron, Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan.
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 10 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.
Pedro 83 crew members to be honored include Captain Joshua Hallada (Flight Lead), First Lieutenant Elliot Milliken (Co-Pilot), Senior Airman Michael Price (Flight Engineer), and Senior Airman Justin Tite (Aerial Gunner).
Pedro 84 crew members to be honored include Major Philip Bryant (Mission Pilot), Captain Louis Nolting, Technical Sergeant James Davis, Technical Sergeant Heath Culbertson, and Technical Sergeant William Gonzalez .
Guardian Angel Team crew members to be honored include Major Jesse Peterson (Guardian Angel Team Commander), First Lieutenant Aaron Hunter (Combat Rescue Officer), Master Sergeant Matthew Schrader (Pararescueman), Technical Sergeant Joshua Vanderbrink, Technical Sergeant Christopher Uriarte, Technical Sergeant Shane Hargis, Staff Sergeant Jason Ruiz, Staff Sergeant Angel Santana, Staff Sergeant Nathan Greene, Staff Sergeant Zachary Kline, and Staff Sergeant William Cenna.
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