HomeNewsArticle Display

19th AW C-130J crew awarded for heroism on deployment

Airmen receiving an award

Col. John Schutte, 19th Airlift Wing commander, presents the Distinguished Flying Cross to Maj. Christopher Richardson, 61st Airlift Squadron pilot, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., May 10, 2021. The DFC is awarded to any officer or enlisted person of the Armed Forces of the United States who distinguished her or himself, in actual combat, in support of operations by heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Aaron Irvin)

Airmen receiving an award

Col. John Schutte, 19th Airlift Wing commander, presents the Air Medal to 1st Lt. Christian Grochowski, 61st Airlift Squadron pilot, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., May 10, 2021. The Air Medal is awarded to U.S. and civilian personnel for single acts of heroism or meritorious achievements while participating in aerial flight in actual combat in support of operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Aaron Irvin)

Airmen receiving an award

Col. John Schutte, 19th Airlift Wing commander, presents the Air Medal to Staff Sgt. Jade Morin, 61st Airlift Squadron loadmaster, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., May 10, 2021. The Air Medal is awarded to U.S. and civilian personnel for single acts of heroism or meritorious achievements while participating in aerial flight in actual combat in support of operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Aaron Irvin)

Airmen receiving an award

Col. John Schutte, 19th Airlift Wing commander, presents the Air Medal to Senior Airman Dimitrious Carden, 61st Airlift Squadron loadmaster, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., May 10, 2021. Carden received the Air Medal for decisive actions while deployed and his application of Self-Aid Buddy Care to his injured senior loadmaster. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Aaron Irvin)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. (AFNS) --

On May 10, a C-130J Super Hercules aircrew assigned to Little Rock Air Force Base’s 61st Airlift Squadron was awarded one Distinguished Flying Cross and three Air Medals for their decisive actions and outstanding airmanship displayed under hazardous conditions while deployed to Afghanistan Sept. 19, 2020.

The DFC is awarded to any officer or enlisted member of the armed forces who distinguished her or himself, in actual combat, in support of operations by heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight.

“Receiving the DFC was extremely humbling,” said Maj. Christopher Richardson, 61st Airlift Squadron pilot. “As aviators, we put a lot of time and effort into making sure everything goes as planned – sometimes that isn’t how it works out.”

While supporting an initial ingress of a theater response force to a forward operating base, the crew received effective enemy fire resulting in the injury of one aircrew member.

“The training we receive in the Air Force is absolutely critical,” said Senior Airman Dimitrious Carden, 61st AS loadmaster and Air Medal recipient. “Everything happened quickly, and adrenaline makes decision-making difficult, but having my previous training to lean on helped me incredibly.”

After receiving fire, Carden assessed the situation and acted decisively, coordinating and applying Self-Aid Buddy Care with the onboard combat control team.

“I knew what I needed to do and how to do it,” Carden added. “I remember quite clearly being able to think back to times spent practicing for these types of events and using that to guide my actions.”

After evaluating the situation, Richardson decided to make a second approach to the FOB. On the second ingress, the pilots discovered a flight control malfunction – an additional result of the small arms fire. The decision was then made to return to Bagram Airfield.

“For me, it was a continual balancing of priorities,” Richardson said. “First was to get the crew and the plane out of harm’s way. Second was assessing if the mission was worth the risk. If you are an expert at your job, you’ll know what to do in a stressful situation. Knowing where your efforts fit into the mission allows you to assess the risk of what’s happening and work as a team to get the job done.”

Upon landing, another C-130J was loaded, prepared and made ready with additional crew members to accompany the remaining crew from the first attempt.

“My leadership offered me a chance to step out for the rest of the mission, but I just imagined if those kinds of dangers awaited me the first time, I couldn’t stand by while someone took my place and flew into the same kinds of danger,” Carden said.

After reloading personnel and cargo onto another aircraft, the C-130J took off again to continue the mission.

“The teamwork aspect of the squadron was awesome,” Richardson said. “I told them we were on our way back with a problem and the whole squadron jumped into action. After we landed, another plane was loaded, prepped and ready, and extra crew members were briefed up and ready to go.”

In addition to Carden, the Air Medal was also presented to 1st Lt. Christian Grochowski, 61st AS pilot, and Staff Sgt. Jade Morin, 61st AS loadmaster.

The Air Medal is awarded to U.S. and civilian personnel for single acts of heroism or meritorious achievements while participating in aerial flight and foreign military personnel in actual combat in support of operations.

“I certainly would not have succeeded alone – we all worked together and relied on each other that night,” Carden said. “Everybody on that plane played a significant role in carrying out the mission and bringing everyone home safely.”

Engage

Twitter
Another Air Force week complete, and we've got it in photos! View the rest here: https://t.co/OkjRFKvDjz https://t.co/HXcWkJN35U
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: On behalf of our #Airmen and families, congrats and welcome to Ms. Jones, our new Under Secretary of the @usairforce. #…
Twitter
Jumping into the weekend Tactical Air Control Party Airmen assigned to the 14th Air Support Operations Squadron pe… https://t.co/VLRxCb90mw
Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: Getting ready for the big leap into civilian life? #Airmen preparing to separate from active duty service can take steps towar…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Acting Secretary Roth on the confirmation of Gina Ortiz Jones to serve as the Under Secretary of the Air Force. ⬇️ https…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Confirmed yesterday by the Senate, Gina Ortiz Jones will be the next Under Secretary of the Air Force! Read more ⬇️ @US
Twitter
The Senate unanimously confirmed Gina Ortiz Jones to be Under Secretary of the Air Force, clearing the way for the… https://t.co/Q8SFw2fq45
Twitter
Hundreds of Airmen participated alongside @USArmy Soldiers in the inaugural Pacific Warriorz 2021 Joint and Total… https://t.co/fAPp4UGjmW
Twitter
RT @US_EUCOM: #JF21-2 is designed to test simulated emergency response procedures, ballistic missile defense & crisis response assistance i…
Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: Thanks to the conservation upgrades, Keesler AFB expects an annual savings of 113,840 million British Thermal Units, a 15.8 p…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: .@Spangdahlem_AB was the first wing in @HQUSAFEAFAF capable of Agile Combat Employment. Being agile & persistent is a m…
Twitter
After catastrophic flooding in Germany & Belgium, @Spangdahlem_AB volunteers provide relief. “80% of people on Sp… https://t.co/6roLIRoFT0
Twitter
RT @Southcom: Supporting our partners in #Suriname: A @usairforce C-17 from @TeamCharleston delivered a field hospital to Suriname July 1…
Twitter
Congratulatons! 🎓 https://t.co/dzK8o0E9rK
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: On the latest edition of the Air Force Starts Here Podcast, we discuss the modernization of the @usairforce Career Developm…
Twitter
F-16s from the 555th Fighter Squadron fire munitions at the Graf Ignatievo Air Base range during Thracian Star 21 i… https://t.co/aYEY5PoEWD
Twitter
The #AirForce Civil Engineer Center, in partnership with the USAF Installation Contracting Center, has streamlined… https://t.co/8iFGwfrYHR
Twitter
A-10 Thunderbolt II's auxiliary power unit insulation is on the path of modernization as the Ogden Air Logistics Ce… https://t.co/3vWCDmV8Sf
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr made his first trip to Europe as CSAF, to visit European counterparts in France, and virtually at th… https://t.co/fnK8dTaHA4
Twitter
RT @AFResearchLab: Have you ever had that lightbulb 💡 moment where a new game changing idea pops into your head? Well the @usairforce, @S
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,354,130
Follow Us