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Video: Pararescuemen Receive Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor

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Master Sergeant Brandon Stuemke, Senior Master Sergeant Chris Widner and Staff Sergeant Aaron Parcha receive the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor Medal presentation. The three pararescuemen from the 212th Rescue Squadron conducted more than 20 missions in 5 days, including treating a fellow Pararescuemen from a gunshot wound while under enemy fire. Photo by Lt. Bernie Kale. Also available in high definition.


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Public Domain Mark
This work, Pararescuemen Receive Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor, by George Kale, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:11.3.2012

Date Posted:11.3.2012 5:01PM

Category:B-Roll

Video ID:160237

VIRIN:121103-D-FZ583-270

Filename:DOD_100605111

Length:00:01:25

Location:JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, AK, USGlobe

More Like This

  • CAMP DENALI, Alaska – Three Alaska Air National Guardsmen with the 212th Rescue Squadron were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor Nov. 3 during a ceremony at the Talkeetna Theater on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

Senior Master Sgt. Christopher “Doug” Widener, Master Sgt. Brandon Stuemke and Staff Sgt. Aaron Parcha received the medals for having distinguished themselves in combat 
by “heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight.” 

“During the span of five days, these warriors, these pararescuemen, flew 25 missions retrieving a total of 49 U.S. and coalition personnel, with 11 of those personnel deceased,” said Maj. Joe Conroy, 212th Rescue Squadron commander, Alaska Air National Guard. “Nineteen of the personnel they retrieved were rescued by conducting a hoist insertion and extraction, often under heavy fire from the enemy.”

Conducting actions in the face of extreme danger, these pararescuemen supported missions during Operation Bulldog Bite in November 2010, an operation that involved some of the largest rescues and evacuations since Operation Anaconda in 2002.

“These brave and courageous warriors exited an HH-60 helicopter while in-flight, by a cable hoist system under extreme and intense circumstances to recover fellow combatants wounded during ground combat operations with the enemy,” Conroy said. “Their direct actions led to lives saved and those Soldiers have now returned to duty and back to their loved ones.”

While the ceremony recognized the actions of these three heroic pararescuemen, Conroy also asked people in attendance to honor the Soldiers who perished during Operation Bulldog Bite. Sentiments echoed by Distinguished Flying Cross recipient, Master Sgt. Brandon Stuemke.

“It’s so much more than just a medal,” Stuemke said.  “Yes, it’s the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor, but it goes way beyond that. It goes to what it represents. It goes to the men out there in the Watapur Valley that sacrificed their lives. It goes to the men out there in the Watapur Valley that we pulled off the hill during that week.  It’s so much more than just a medal.  Numerous individuals that week paid the ultimate sacrifice.  Those are the guys. Those are wounds that I will carry with me internally for the rest of my life.  Those are faces that I will never forget.” Available in High Definition.
  • Three Alaska National Guardsmen with the 212th rescue squadron were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor Nov. 3 during a ceremony at the Talkeetna Theater on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. They received the medals for having distinguished themselves in combat.
  • During a visit from the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General Welsh, the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor was presented to members of the 33rd Rescue Squadron of Kadena Air Base for actions while deployed. Available in high definition.
  • Pararescuemen demonstrate rescue techniques.
Available in High Definition.

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