Tribute to the Military; God Bless America

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

General recognizes pilots of daring rescue mission

Courtesy of Multi-National Force - Iraq

Monday, 30 July 2007

Gen. David Petraeus, commander, Multi-National Force -  Iraq, awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross to Chief Warrant Officer Kristopher Hobt, Troop A, 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, and Chief Warrant Officers Micah Johnson and Allan Davison from the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, during a recent ceremony at the Multi-National Corps - Iraq headquarters on Camp Victory.   Photo provided by MND-C PAO.

Gen. David Petraeus, commander, Multi-National Force - Iraq, awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross to Chief Warrant Officer Kristopher Hobt, Troop A, 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, and Chief Warrant Officers Micah Johnson and Allan Davison from the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, during a recent ceremony at the Multi-National Corps - Iraq headquarters on Camp Victory. Photo provided by MND-C PAO.

BAGHDAD — The top U.S. general in Iraq presented awards to four Apache pilots for their part in the July 2 rescue of two other pilots downed by enemy fire during ceremony Friday in the Victory Base Complex .

U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, commander of Multi-National Forces-Iraq, honored the four pilots of the 1st Cavalry Division’s 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, and eight others who helped rescue the pilots.

U.S. Army Chief  Warrant Officer Allan Davison and Chief Warrant Officer Micah Johnson, both AH-64D Apache attack helicopter pilots for Company A, 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, received the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Davison and Johnson landed their attack helicopter in a hostile area and evacuated the two downed OH-58 Kiowa helicopter pilots of the 3rd Infantry Division’s 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade.

Chief Warrant Officer Micah Johnson, right, shakes hands with Gen. David Petraeus, Multi-National Force-Iraq commander, after Petraeus presented him with the Distinguished Flying Cross during a ceremony in Baghdad Thursday. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Nathan Hoskins.

Chief Warrant Officer Micah Johnson, right, shakes hands with Gen. David Petraeus, Multi-National Force-Iraq commander, after Petraeus presented him with the Distinguished Flying Cross during a ceremony in Baghdad Thursday. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Nathan Hoskins.

Apaches only have two seats, so Johnson, the front seat pilot, let one of the Kiowa pilots take his seat in the Apache while he and the other Kiowa pilot strapped themselves to the outside of the aircraft and sat on the wings, said Johnson.

"It looked like they were both in pretty good shape, but one of them kind of looked like he had been through enough, like he was a little shocked, as I would be, too. I told him to get in front," he said.

Once the pilots were strapped in, Davison, the pilot in command, took off and headed to BaghdadInternational Airport where the pilots were dropped off.

While this was taking place, their Apache wingmen were circling above providing security.

Those two pilots, U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer Seung Choi and Chief Warrant Officer Troy Moseley, received Air Medals for their efforts.

Although happy at being awarded medals and recognized by the top commander in Iraq, the pilots said their greatest reward was finding the downed pilots alive.

"We've seen a lot of aircraft shoot-downs," Johnson said in an interview after the rescue. "Every one that we've all probably seen, it's resulted in burning aircraft and black smoke and usually catastrophic loss of life. If not loss of life, then there have been serious injuries. Just to see those two alive, it was amazing. It was great."

(Story by Spc. Nathan Hoskins)

In other developments throughout Iraq:

•           We join the people of Iraq in conveying our congratulations to the Iraqi soccer team! We watched every one of your games with excitement and admiration, and are truly delighted you have won the 2007 Asian Cup.  Throughout this demanding competition, you represented Iraq with distinction and honor, inspiring all Iraqis by your unity, teamwork, dedication and athletic ability.  We salute you and congratulate you on this tremendous achievement.

•           Coalition forces killed seven terrorists and detained one suspected terrorist during an operation near Muqudadiyah Wednesday and Thursday.

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