Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross to Capt. Elliot Milliken, an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter pilot, during a ceremony at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. Milliken was co-pilot of “Pedro 83,” one of two Pave Hawks dispatched from the 83rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron at Bagram on April 23, 2011, to rescue a crashed Army helicopter crew. During the daring, multi-hour mountainside rescue mission, Milliken and his colleagues in Pedro 83 and Pedro 84 endured intense enemy ground fire, eventually rescuing an injured pilot, recovered the body of the second pilot, and retrieving a wounded soldier. Schwartz presented Milliken with the DFC on the one-year anniversary of the mission during the Chief’s tour of Southwest Asia. Milliken and his colleagues have received the 2011 Mackay Trophy for the mission, which the National Aeronautic Association recognized as the most meritorious flight of last year. (Includes Bagram photo caption by A1C Ericka Engblom) (For the full narrative of the rescue mission, see A Day in the Life.)
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force recently, as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S., as the bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.