Air Force Special Operations Command presented MSgt. David Halvorson a Bronze Star for his work in Southwest Asia as maintenance production superintendent for MH-53 Pave Low helicopters. Halvorson led 56 airmen from 11 career fields to maintain the four MH-53s, at one point operating from the back of a truck during threat of mortar and rocket attack to get the Pave Lows ready to pursue high-value targets. Halovorson’s efforts led to a 100 percent launch rate for 15 high-priority missions, culminating in capture of 15 Iraqi insurgents and terrorists.
NASA, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance are all preparing to launch their next-gen rockets from Florida’s Space Coast, two of them before the year is out. One is expected to liberate the U.S. launch enterprise from its reliance on Russian-made RD-180 engines, while all three rockets could eventually carry astronaut crews.