Ramstein Pilot Receives Cheney Award
(October 16, 2009)
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen.
Norton Schwartz presents Capt. Daniel Santoro
with the Cheney Award Oct. 8, 2009 at the
Pentagon. Captain Santoro's leadership and
foresight led his squadron to successfully
complete 29 missions, delivering 95 passengers
and 211 tons of humanitarian aid to the war-torn
country of Georgia, following an August 2008
Russian invasion. Capt. Santoro is a C-130E
Hercules instructor pilot and the chief of
tactics assigned to the 37th Airlift Squadron at
Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
WASHINGTON (10/10/2009 - AFNS) -- A C-130E Hercules
instructor pilot was presented the Cheney Award by Air Force
Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz Oct. 8 for his
leadership in planning humanitarian aid missions to the
country of Georgia.
The Cheney Award is presented each year to a service member
who demonstrates an act of valor, extreme fortitude or
self-sacrifice in a humanitarian venture. This year, the
award went to Capt. Daniel Santoro of the 37th Airlift
Squadron at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
"Today it is a special privilege to recognize an individual
Airman who, because of his training, experience and
commitment to the mission, executed so well on behalf of
others," General Schwartz said during the presentation
ceremony. "Thank you for demonstrating what it means to
be competent and respected operationally . . .
prerequisites for everything we do in our Air
According to the awards citation, Captain Santoro led a team of eight
intelligence and tactics personnel to develop multiple executable plans
following the August 2008 invasion of Georgia by Russia. As the airlift expert
for the Third Air Force operations plans team, he led the stand up of a 24-hour
operations center and initiated a standby force. With the uncertainty of an
evolving mission, Captain Santoro provided guidance on the defensive and payload
capabilities of the C-130E.|
Captain Santoro's experience helped determine aircraft defensive
countermeasures, routing and refuel locations to accommodate a long overnight
flight. His leadership allowed the squadron to complete 29 missions, deliver 95
passengers and 211 tons of humanitarian aid to Georgia.
The captain credited his fellow squadron Airmen for helping him earn the Cheney
"My biggest thanks goes to the to the men and women of the 37th Airlift Squadron
for their unwavering professionalism and airmanship in executing a plan that not
only helped the U.S. meet strategic national objectives, but also made a
difference in people's lives," Captain Santoro said. "The food and supplies that
we airlifted saved lives and helped prevent a humanitarian disaster in the
region. For that, my hat's off to them."
Established in 1927, the Cheney Award is presented each year in memory of 1st
Lt. William Cheney, who was killed in an air collision over Italy in 1918.
By USAF MSgt. Stan Parker
Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
Air Force News Service
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