Prev | List | Random | Next
Standing in the sand-swept desert near Kharbut, Iraq, the smoking remnants of his CH-47 Chinook somewhere in the darkness behind him, Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Steve Froeschile wondered if help would ever come.
“It seemed like one of the longest nights of my life,” Froeschile said Monday at the Pentagon, recounting the April 16, 2004, crash and his subsequent rescue along with four fellow crew members.
Back at Balad air base, north of Baghdad, the crews of Capt. John Bryan Creel’s Jolly 11 and Capt. Rob Wrinkle’s Jolly 12 combat search and rescue teams were on duty, prepared to respond to any air-related emergencies.
The crew members belonged to the Air Force’s 38th Rescue Squadron and 41st Rescue Squadron, both of Moody Air Force Base, Ga.
Their airframe was the HH-60G Pave Hawk, one of the most sophisticated helicopters in the U.S. military.
The rescue the two crews would perform that night, conducted in near-zero visibility while avoiding ground fire from insurgents, earned them one of the Air Force’s most prestigious awards, the 2004 Air Force Clarence MacKay Trophy.
The MacKay Trophy is awarded annually by the Air Force and the National Aeronautic Association for the most meritorious flight of the year by an Air Force person, persons or organization.
Read the rest for the details.
Update: More on the MacKay Trophy and past winners here.