DFC Awarded to Gilbert:

The Air Force has awarded a posthumous Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor Device to Maj. Troy Gilbert for his actions to support coalition ground forces on Nov. 27, 2006, Brig. Gen. David Goldfein told reporters Monday. According to the accident investigation report (see above), Gilbert’s fatal crash last November was due in part to his “excessive motivation to succeed” in protecting coalition ground forces who responded to a downed helicopter and came under heavy attack. Gilbert was an instructor pilot at his home base of Luke AFB, Ariz., where he had practiced strafing training runs with students on his last five flights before deploying in September 2006 to Balad AB, Iraq. While assigned to Balad’s 524th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, he already had flown 10 close air support missions over Iraq amidst enemy fire, Goldfein told reporters. He noted that the Air Force has re-emphasized acceptable parameters for flying CAS strafing runs to pilots deployed to Southwest Asia, but he also said that Gilbert had performed admirably.