Randolph Airman to Receive DFC with Valor

Gen. Edward Rice is expected to award Lt. Col. Gregory Roberts with the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor during a ceremony at Randolph AFB, Tex., Nov. 10. Roberts served as an air advisor to the Afghan Air Force in July 2010 when floods devastated the region. Brig. Gen. Mohammed Barat, Kabul Air Wing commander, hand-picked Roberts and then-Lt. Col. Bernard Willi, who also received the DFC for his actions last summer, to fly the mission because none of the Afghans were completely familiar with the new Mi-17V5 helicopter. Roberts piloted the helicopter and led a combined US and Afghan rescue of more than 2,000 people in the Nangahar and Kunar provinces, according to a release. “The weather was not too bad at mission notification time, but everyone knew the weather in the mountains surrounding Kabul would be treacherous,” said Roberts. The aircrews rescued 380 people by the end of the first day and moved more than 2,000 to safety by the end of the second day, even though the area was known as an insurgent “hotbed,” according to the release.