JACKSONVILLE, N.C. - Maj. Gen. Robert F. Hedelund, 2nd
Marine Aircraft Wing commanding general, presented Marines
from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 with two
Distinguished Flying Crosses and five Air Medals in their
hangar aboard Marine Corps Air Station New River on June 28,
Maj. Gen. Robert F. Hedelund, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing commanding general, presented Marines from Marine Medium Tiltrotor
Squadron 365 with two distinguished flying crosses and five air
medals in their hangar aboard Marine Corps Air Station New River on
June 28, 2013. The Marines were awarded for the bravery and courage shown
during a mission to insert a reconnaissance raid force into a
heavily defended enemy landing zone in Afghanistan in June 2012. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Manuel Estrada)
The Marines were awarded for the bravery and courage shown
during a mission to insert a reconnaissance raid force into
a heavily-defended enemy landing zone in Afghanistan in June
This is the first time Marine Corps MV-22B
Osprey pilots have been awarded the Distinguished Flying
Despite suffering damage to the
Osprey's critical flight systems, Maj. Michael W. Hutchings
displayed poise and demeanor by quickly reassessing the
landing plan and returning to the heavily-defended objective
area to reinforce the raid force enabling them to
successfully complete their mission.
award is definitely gratifying,” said Hutchings. “I couldn't
have done anything without my Marines.”
W. Haake also earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for his
action under fire and his calm directions when an Afghan
soldier was shot.
Even after Haake's Osprey received
12 shots to critical flight controls, fuel systems and a
severe fuel leak, he was able to maneuver the Osprey to a
safe landing zone.
“Haake's bold and heroic actions
in the face of danger saved the lives of Marines and an
Afghan soldier,” according to the award citation.
Haake dedicated the award to his Marines.
“If it was
not for them, I would not be standing here now,” he added.
“This is one of the few things that go on in a
general's day that are truly fun,” said Hedelund, after
pinning the medals on the Marines. “It's a great honor, from
a Marine Corps' perspective. This is what it's all about.”
The following Marines were awarded the Air Medal for
their actions during the same mission: Capt. Joel. A.
Vandenende, Capt. David R. Austin, Sgt. John M. Leist, Sgt.
Shane M. Moreland and Sgt. Matthew E. Belleci.
By USMC Cpl. Manuel Estrada
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