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Davis-Monthan pilots awarded Distinguished Flying Cross

D-M Pilots awarded Flying Cross
Posted at 4:05 AM, Mar 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-15 11:03:43-04

Two A-10 Thunderbolt pilots from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base have been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for protecting Army forces fighting ISIS.

Maj. Tyler Schultz and Capt. Samantha Harvey, with the 354th Fighter Squadron at Davis-Monthan, were presented with the military's fourth-highest medal by Air Combat Commander Gen. Mike Holmes at the Arizona base on March 2, according to a news release.

The pilots were performing close-air support to U.S. Army forces in the fight against the Islamic State in Syria last May. 

Schultz and Harvey got a call from a Joint Terminal Attack Controller near al-Shaddadi in northeast Syria that ISIS fighters had surrounded U.S. forces and begun a direct assault on their location on the night of May 2, 2017.

The two A-10C Thunderbolt II pilots coordinated a plan of attack. 

"It was dark, but I had a job to do," Harvey said. "I thought to myself, 'This is the moment that I've been training for.' "

"We're there to support, protect and bring our ground forces home," Schultz said.

The Distinguished Flying Cross is awarded to "any officer or enlisted member of the U.S. armed forces who has distinguished themselves in combat in support of operations by heroism or extraordinary achievement in flight," according to the Air Force.