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Release No: 092-05
December 01, 2005

Airmen to Receive Mackay Trophy for Heroics

            Eleven Air Force airmen, who are being awarded the prestigious MacKay Trophy for a combat search and rescue in Iraq last year, will be available to discuss the combat search and rescue mission that resulted in this award at 11:30 a.m. EST, Monday, Dec.5. 


            The MacKay trophy is awarded and administered by the U.S. Air Force and the National Aeronautic Association yearly for the most meritorious flight of the year by an Air Force person, persons or organization.


            The MacKay Trophy is being awarded this year for a combat rescue operation launched near Kharbut, Iraq April 16, 2004.  In near-zero visibility, the crews of two AF HH-60G helicopters were directed to the location of a U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter that had crashed in a sandstorm.  The brown-out conditions left the rescue crews' infrared and night vision goggles ineffective, making navigation extremely difficult and the rescue attempt much more dangerous.  In executing the rescue mission, the Air Force crews also had to navigate through multiple surface-to-air missile attacks.  In the end all five Army crash survivors were located, rescued and evacuated out of the combat zone unharmed.


            In addition to the rescue personnel, a spokesman on the Air Force CSAR-X program will be available during and after the event.


            The media availability will take place in the Secretary of the Air Force conference room, Pentagon 4E869.  For more information and media wishing to attend please contact the Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs Office at (703) 695-0640 by Monday at 9 a.m.

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