News: D-M member receives rescue award
Story by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey
DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. - A Davis-Monthan Air Force Base helicopter pilot recently earned the 2013 Air Rescue Association’s Richard T. Kight Award.
Capt. Brian R. Dicks, 55th Rescue Squadron, accepted the award via live webcam during the annual Air Rescue Association reunion. He was unable to attend the event in person as he had just returned to the country.
The award is named in honor of Brig. Gen. Richard T. Kight, a former commander of the Air Rescue Service, and is presented annually to recognize an active duty or reserve component member who has contributed to the overall effectiveness of the rescue mission area through management, innovation or other outstanding achievement.
His citation reads:
“ … Capt. Dicks deployed to Afghanistan, where he flew seven high-risk casualty evacuation missions. On one such mission, Capt. Dicks and his crew evacuated three wounded soldiers from a hot landing zone while under intense small arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire. Additionally, when a United States infantry unit became pinned down by enemy fire, Capt. Dicks and his formation suppressed the enemy position and coordinated close air support from two Army attack helicopters that destroyed the threat, saving an entire platoon. During another mission, Capt. Dicks responded to a Stryker convoy which had struck an improvised explosive device. He executed a difficult restricted visibility approach to a roadside landing zone and successfully evacuated four soldiers. Finally, Capt. Dicks demonstrated his rescue expertise as Personal Recovery Coordination Cell Director for Exercise VIRTUAL FLAG, validated distributed mission operations as a low-cost alternative for larger force training … ”
“You see all the work and training you put in at home at then you see it come to fruition when the training paid off during the mission,” said Dicks.
Dicks credited his success during missions to having good wingmen. He described that a good wingman is one that understands, as certain situations develop, when to take the lead and when to let others take the lead.
Even with receiving this high honor, Dicks remained humble.
“My personal philosophy is that you do what you set out to do,” said Dicks. “If someone thinks you should be awarded or recognized for something, you let them take care of that. You don’t go out looking for that recognition. You just have to do it and it’s that internal locus that goes ‘alright, I did a good job today. If something else comes of this, then that’s nice, but at least I protected and helped the guys on the ground, or I came back with myself and the other guys better than when I left.’”
Since Dicks was unable to accept his award in person, a ceremony will be held on base Nov. 26 to present him with the Kight Award as well as the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor.