Fifteen seconds. That’s how long Staff Sgt. Joshua Reid and Master Sgt. William Fritsch were on the ground to pick up four critically wounded soldiers Dec. 10 near Sperwan Ghar, Afghanistan. Getting the soldiers to a hospital was crucial — but so was avoiding enemy small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades.
Flight engineers Reid and Fritsch received the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor at a ceremony today at the 55th Rescue Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., for their roles in the combat rescue. Also honored, with the Air Medal with Valor, were aerial gunner Staff Sgt. Jason St John and pilots 1st Lt. Patrick Mount and Capt. Ryan Prince.
“I wasn’t expecting it,” Reid said. “I didn’t feel that we would be given anything extra for just doing our jobs.”
The members of the 55th RQS at Kandahar Airfieldhad just worked a full 12-hour shift when they received a call to rescue the wounded Regional Command South soldiers about 40 miles away. Their flight, Pedro 61 and 62, carried four aircrew members, plus three pararescue jumpers and medics from the 48th RQS on each HH-60G helicopter.
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