Written by Spc. George Welcome 101st Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (Sept. 25, 2008) – On the night of Sept. 23, Soldiers with the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade were presented with prestigious aviation medals for their outstanding performance in flight during combat missions.
Six Soldiers were presented with awards by Brig. Gen. James McConville, Combined Joint Task Force-101 deputy commanding general-support and Regional Command-East.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jason Shumate was awarded with the Distinguished Flying Cross, which is presented for heroism or extraordinary achie
vement while participating in aerial flight.
On May 12 during a night resupply mission coined “Mountain Highway,” the crew of a CH-47D based at Bagram Air Field was carrying a sling-load of items over the Gowardesh Valley, when they were fired at with a rocket propelled grenade. The impact violently shook the rear of the aircraft, causing it to go into descent.
As the pilot in charge, Shumate managed to bring the crippled aircraft down onto the rooftop of a house in the valley, not only saving the lives of the crew, but also minimizing further damage to the helicopter.
For their actions, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Brian Carnahan, Staff Sgt. David Berrellez and Sgt. Seth Schroeder were all presented with the Air Medal with a Valor Device.
After the presentation of the awards, the general took time to address the Soldiers present for the event.
“It’s a privilege for me to be here and present these medals to these heroes,” said McConville. “Their actions are in keeping with the traditions of this division. They looked out for each other like a team should, from the warrant officers to the NCOs.”
McConville also took the opportunity to warn the Soldiers against complacency during the last months of their deployment.
“You all have performed heroically for the past nine months, but you are entering the most dangerous time during a deployment; the last 90 days, the last stretch,” McConville said. “Remember that when going on missions, the terrain has a vote, the weather has a vote and the enemy has a vote. You have one as well, so continue to be safe and look out for each other like these Soldiers did.”
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Matthew Frederickson and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan Harris were also awarded the Air Medal with a Valor Device for their actions in separate incidents.