Medevac crew receives valor awards following harrowing rescue mission
STARS AND STRIPES
By CHAD GARLAND
Published: January 11, 2019
Under fire and carrying a badly wounded patient, the Black Hawk helicopter was just lifting off an Afghan battlefield when the crew chief saw an Army Ranger in the landing zone get shot and drop to the ground.
The Black Hawk darted back to evacuate the fallen Ranger.
From left: Sgt. Armando Yanez; Spc. Emmanuel Bynum; Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Six; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan Cole; and Capt. Benjamin Krzeczowski 101ST CAB, WINGS OF DESTINY/FACEBOOKSpc. Emmanuel Bynum, thinking quickly, directed the pilot to make an emergency landing on a dusty patch masked from most enemy fire. They still took fire — in all, about two dozen rounds to the helicopter, which would become nearly unflyable.
After the wounded Ranger was loaded, the Black Hawk lifted off. But there was more danger to come as they flew from Paktia province toward a base in Logar province dozens of miles to the north.
For their courage during the July operation, Bynum and four other aircrew members received the Distinguished Flying Cross with valor during a Jan. 5 ceremony officiated by Gen. Scott Miller, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.
Each of the five “completely disregarded his own safety” and refused to leave Army Ranger Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Andrew Celiz and an unnamed casualty on the battlefield, award citations said.
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