On February 2nd, a ceremony was held on Forward Operating Base Warrior in the Kirkuk area of northern Iraq to recognize the heroics of two helicopter pilots with the 1st Combat Aviation Brigade's 1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment.
1st Lt. Joshua England and Chief Warrant Officer William McKenna were awarded Air Medals for their quick reactions as they aided Soldiers of the 1/10th Mountain Division's 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, during an offensive against terrorist activity in the Kirkuk area.
As the 1-87 Inf. Soldiers maneuvered into a Kirkuk village, they received word by radio from the two helicopter pilots that a group of armed insurgents were awaiting the Soldiers in ambush. The pilots, from an OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter, opened fire on the insurgents - killing one, wounded two, and scattering the others.
As a result, the 1-87 Inf. Soldiers were able to move forward with their objective, during which they captured a high-value target on a list of wanted terrorists.
Here, 1-6th Cav. Commander Lt. Col. John Thompson pins the medal to England's uniform.
(U.S. Army Photo by Spc. Jason Jordan, 1/10th Mtn. Div. PAO)