Maj. Philip Bryant and Maj. Joshua Hallada, two HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopter pilots, received Silver Star medals for their heroic actions in Afghanistan last year. Air Education and Training Command boss Gen. Edward Rice presented the medals on July 12 during the inactivation ceremony for 19th Air Force at JBSA-Randolph, Tex. “We were just getting it done,” said Hallada in a July 13 release. Bryant added, “I’m very honored and humbled, but we never would have accomplished the mission without our attack assets.” On April 23, 2011, Hallada was the lead pilot in “Pedro 83,” one of two Pave Hawks dispatched from the 83rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, to rescue a crashed Army helicopter crew. Bryant flew Pedro 84. During the daring, multi-hour mission, Pedro 83 and Pedro 84 endured intense enemy ground fire to eventually rescue an injured pilot, recover the body of the second pilot, and retrieve a wounded soldier. In April, Hallada’s co-pilot that day, now-Capt. Elliot Milliken, received the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions. (See also Kirtland report by Stefan Bocchino.) (For the full narrative of the rescue mission, read A Day in the Life.)
The Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness revised the Defense Department’s COVID-19 guidelines. The new rules clarify what’s meant by being “up to date” on vaccinations and when personnel must wear masks in vehicles, among other changes.