33rd Rescue Squadron crew earns MacKay Trophy
By Maj. John S. Hutcheson , 18th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 20, 2010
KADENA AIR BASE, Japan (AFNS) -- Four members of the 33rd Rescue Squadron here were named the 2009 MacKay Trophy winners.
Capt. Robert Rosebrough, 1st Lt. Lucas Will, Master Sgt. Dustin Thomas and Staff Sgt. Tim Philpott, the crew of an HH-60G Pavehawk combat search and rescue helicopter "Pedro 16", have been recognized for their efforts saving the crew of a downed Air Force aircraft and three Soldiers in Afghanistan.
The MacKay Trophy dates back to 1912 and is awarded annually by the National Aeronautic Association for the most meritorious flight of the year. The award comes on the heels of the Kadena-based crew being honored by the Jolly Green Association for the most outstanding rescue mission of the year.
The crew of "Pedro 16" and "Pedro 15" came under enemy fire July 29, 2009 during a medical evacuation mission as part of the 129th Expeditionary Rescue Squadron at Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan. Three Soldiers had been wounded near Forward Operating Base Frontenac when their convoy was hit with an IED. During the recovery operation, the crew of "Pedro 15" was downed and the "Pedro 16" crew, along with Army OH-58 Kiowas crews, helped return the wounded Soldiers and downed aircrew back to safety.
"It could have been any crew in our place that day, and they would have performed the same," Captain Rosebrough said. "(The honors) are a testament to the Air Force rescue community as a whole."
The crew will be recognized by Air Force leaders this fall when the MacKay Trophy is officially presented in Washington, D.C.
The MacKay Trophy and the Jolly Green Association awards bring even more acclaim to the 33rd Rescue Squadron, which was honored last year with the 2009 Verne Orr Award for most effective use of people and resources in pursuit of the mission.