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Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen W. Wilson speaks during an award dinner in Arlington, Va., Nov. 29, 2017. During the dinner Wilson presented members of the AC-130U Gunship aircrew known as "Spooky 43" the Mackay Trophy. First awarded in 1912, the Mackay Trophy honors the most meritorious U.S. Air Force flight of the previous year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rusty Frank) Heroic "Spooky 43" aircrew receives the Mackay Trophy
On Nov. 2, 2016, fourteen AC-130U Gunship crewmembers provided close-air-support to a U.S. Special Forces team and 43 Afghan soldiers near Kunduz, Afghanistan. The crew's persistent fire support, presence of mind and courage during two hours of intense combat ultimately saved 50 lives.
0 12/01
2017
Every year, an aircrew is selected for the Clarence Mackay Trophy, which is presented to an aircrew for accomplishing the most meritorious flight of the year. The trophy is permanently displayed at the National Air and Space Museum. (Courtesy Photo) Special Operations Command aircrew recognized for meritorious flight
Every year, an aircrew is selected for the Clarence Mackay Trophy for accomplishing the most meritorious flight of the year. This year, an AC-130U aircrew from Air Force Special Operations Command, which included one of 25th Air Force’s outstanding Airmen, was recognized with the honor.
0 5/16
2017
U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh accompanied by a National Aeronautic Association spokesman present the Mackay Trophy to Capts. David Kroontje and Gregory Balzhiser during the NAA fall awards ceremony in Arlington, Virginia, Dec. 3, 2015. The trophy is awarded for the “most meritorious flight of the year by an Air Force person, persons, or organization.” Kroontje and Balzhiser earned the trophy as a result of their heroic efforts during an air strike that helped Peshmerga forces the next day set up a safe corridor from Mount Sinjar, Iraq, saving the lives of 40,000 stranded civilians including women, children, elderly, and the infirm. Kroontje has since transferred to the 560th Flying Training Squadron at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, and Balzhiser is now a member of the 31st Operations Support Squadron at Aviano Air Base, Italy. (Courtesy photo) Misawa pilots save Iraqi civilians, earn 2014 Mackay Trophy
Stranded on Mount Sinjar, Iraq, without food, water, medical care, facing starvation and dehydration, and under constant enemy gunfire, more than 40,000 Iraqi Yazidis were saved by a multinational coalition force led by Misawa Air Base F-16C Fighting Falcon pilots during an airstrike Aug. 9, 2014.
0 12/15
2015
A group photo from the Fall Awards Dinner at the Marriott Crystal Gateway in Arlington, Va. (Courtesy photo) Mackay Trophy returns to AFSOC
Under heavy enemy fire Dec. 21, 2013, the crew of Rooster 73 performed expert aerial maneuvers while simultaneously providing medical care to the critically-injured passengers on board their CV-22 Osprey.
0 11/14
2014
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