ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Several current members of the 58th Special Operations Wing have received prestigious military awards for
rescue missions they flew in Afghanistan:
- Maj. Philip A. Bryant received a Silver Star, the third-highest military award for combat, for a rescue mission he flew on April 23, 2011, in Afghanistan. Bryant was part of a two-helicopter team tasked that day with rescuing two downed Army pilots who had crashed in enemy territory.
While hoisting a rescue team down to the pilots, Bryant’s helicopter took enemy fire that wounded his flight engineer. Bryant broke off the engagement, flew his flight engineer to medical care and returned to the rescue site to pick up his rescue team and the pilots.
Under heavy fire that wounded two more crewmen, Bryant called in an attack helicopter for support. Bryant returned to the crash site several times that day, which resulted in the rescue of his rescue crew, the downed pilots and soldiers wounded in the fight.
- Bryant’s co-pilot, Capt. Louis G. Nolting, received a Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor, the military’s seventh-highest award, for that same mission.
- Bryant, Nolting and their crew received the prestigious 2011 Mackay Trophy, awarded by the National Aeronautical Association for the most meritorious flight of the year by an Air Force crew. The award recognized the April 23, 2011, mission.
- Bryant and Nolting also received Distinguished Flying Crosses for a rescue mission they flew on March 29, 2011, in Afghanistan. Bryant and Nolting are HH-60G instructor pilots at Kirtland.