Kirtland Airman Awarded Distinguished Flying Cross

The Air Force awarded SSgt. Brandon Hill, an HH-60G flight engineer assigned to the 512th Rescue Squadron at Kirtland AFB, N.M., the Distinguished Flying Cross for his heroic actions in Afghanistan in late 2010. The presentation ceremony took place on base on Oct. 23. On Nov. 14, 2010, Hill was assigned to the 83rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron at Bagram Airfield. His Pave Hawk crew was tasked with flying a high-risk, mass-casualty evacuation mission in support of operations in the Watapur Valley. Although Hill’s helicopter came under intense enemy fire, he helped lower pararescuemen to the ground so that they could treat wounded troops who had become pinned down, according to Kirtland’s release. Ultimately, his actions led to the evacuation of 11 casualties. “Were it not for his heroic actions under direct enemy fire, many of those injured would not have survived,” states the release. Hill said he was honored to have received the award, but said the entire HH-60G crew truly deserves the credit. “It’s about the guys to my left and to my right. I have the honor of walking among heroes every day,” he said. (Kirtland report by Danny Monahan)