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    Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 266 Marines Awarded Air Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device for Valor



    Story by 1st Lt. Roberto Martins 

    Marine Corps Installations East       

    MARINE CORPS AIR STATION NEW RIVER, N.C. – Three Marines from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 266 will be awarded the Air Medal with the combat distinguishing device for valor, during a ceremony at the VMM-266 hangar at 8 a.m. Monday, January 7, 2013.

    Captain Erik Kolle, Staff Sgt. David Potter, along with Sergeant Daniel Howington will receive the award for meritorious achievement in aerial flight March 22, 2011 during the Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel (TRAP) mission while assigned to VMM-266 (REIN), 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Expeditionary Strike Group Five in support of Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn.

    According to the award citation, upon notification of the tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel mission to rescue a downed U.S. pilot, the pilots and crew member of the MV-22B Osprey quickly prepared the aircraft and launched into an uncertain threat environment from the USS Kearsarge with a 30-man recovery force. While flying at night, they safely negotiated the aircraft 150 miles to the contested area near the crash site of a U.S. Air Force F-15E in the vicinity of Benghazi., Libya. Coordinating with numerous coalition airborne assets, the pilots ensured their aircraft navigated to the downed pilot who was actively evading pursuit. After receiving a refined extract point, the pilots and crew landed, authenticated, and recovered the downed pilot safely to the USS Kearsarge. Their actions led to the successful rescue of a downed pilot from contested territory in less than 90 minutes.

    Media interested in covering this event should contact 1stLt Rob Martins by 6pm, Friday January 4, 2013 at or 910-449-5430. Media should also be prepared to meet at the MCAS New River visitors’ center at 7:30 a.m. Monday.



    Date Taken: 01.04.2013
    Date Posted: 01.04.2013 09:56
    Story ID: 99907
    Location: NEW RIVER, NC, US 

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