Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and National Aeronautic Association Chairman Walter Boyne presented the 2010 Mackay Trophy to the four members of “Dude Flight” for their heroics actions last year in the cockpits of two F-15Es during a mission over Afghanistan. Now-retired Lt. Col. Donald Cornwell as well as Lt. Col. Dylan Wells, Capt. Leigh Larkin, and Capt. Nicholas Tsougas received the trophy, which recognizes the most meritorious flight in a given year, during NAA’s fall awards dinner Monday in Arlington, Va. On April 6, 2010, these airmen, flying in F-15Es with call signs Dude-01 and Dude-02, performed show-of-force passes and subsequently deployed six joint direct attack munitions to protect a task force of some 30 coalition troops under attack by approximately 100 Taliban fighters in Bala Morgab. Their attacks killed more than 80 Taliban, saving the task force members’ lives. (SAF/PA report by SSgt. Eric Donner) (See also NAA Mackay Trophy webpage.)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.