Theodore's World: In County With Our Troops ~Iraq Various Bases

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August 01, 2007

In County With Our Troops ~Iraq Various Bases

Hero's Highway

Airmen and volunteers from the 332nd Expeditionary Medical Group put up the American flag that hangs in the Air Force Theater Hospital's Hero's Highway at Balad Air Base, Iraq.

The Hero's Highway was moved from the tent hospital to the new facility July 21. Wounded servicemembers travel under this flag as they make their way from the helicopter pad to the hospital. The new facility, which opens Aug. 3, will have about 97,000 square feet featuring 20 intensive care units, 40 beds and up to eight operating tables. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Shannon Collins)

1st Lt. Jamie Hovis, from the 82nd Airborne Division (right), donated a kidney to her sister, Jackie. Hovis will soon rejoin her unit in Iraq.

Soldiers send a 105 mm howitzer round downrange during a fire mission outside Forward Operating Base Kalsu, Iraq.

General recognizes pilots for daring rescue mission

BAGHDAD — The top U.S. general in Iraq presented awards to four Apache pilots for their part in the July 2 rescue of two other pilots downed by enemy fire during ceremony Friday in the Victory Base Complex .

U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, commander of Multi-National Forces-Iraq, honored the four pilots of the 1st Cavalry Division’s 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, and eight others who helped rescue the pilots.

U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer Allan Davison and Chief Warrant Officer Micah Johnson, both AH-64D Apache attack helicopter pilots for Company A, 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, received the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Davison and Johnson landed their attack helicopter in a hostile area and evacuated the two downed OH-58 Kiowa helicopter pilots of the 3rd Infantry Division’s 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade.

Apaches only have two seats, so Johnson, the front seat pilot, let one of the Kiowa pilots take his seat in the Apache while he and the other Kiowa pilot strapped themselves to the outside of the aircraft and sat on the wings, said Johnson.

"It looked like they were both in pretty good shape, but one of them kind of looked like he had been through enough, like he was a little shocked, as I would be, too. I told him to get in front," he said.

Once the pilots were strapped in, Davison, the pilot in command, took off and headed to BaghdadInternational Airport where the pilots were dropped off.

While this was taking place, their Apache wingmen were circling above providing security.

Those two pilots, U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer Seung Choi and Chief Warrant Officer Troy Moseley, received Air Medals for their efforts.

Although happy at being awarded medals and recognized by the top commander in Iraq, the pilots said their greatest reward was finding the downed pilots alive.

"We've seen a lot of aircraft shoot-downs," Johnson said in an interview after the rescue. "Every one that we've all probably seen, it's resulted in burning aircraft and black smoke and usually catastrophic loss of life. If not loss of life, then there have been serious injuries. Just to see those two alive, it was amazing. It was great."

Posted by Wild Thing at August 1, 2007 12:47 AM


Our troops are the best. Why we win!!

Posted by: TomR at August 1, 2007 11:24 AM

Heartwarming good news about our nation's very best. I hope that young lady's kidney transplant lasts forever too.

Posted by: Jack at August 1, 2007 11:53 AM

Tom, yes they really are awesome.

I wrote to some of our local news channels and told them how neat it would be if they did a story segment on our troops each night. They said they couldn't due to time limits and not knowing what other news was out there for them to tell us about. sigh

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 2, 2007 12:09 AM

Jack me too, what a girl she is and her sister too. I cried when I saw this photo and just the little one sentence story about them.

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 2, 2007 12:10 AM