Helmand heroism earns DFC for selfless Chinook pilot
4 Oct 12An RAF Chinook helicopter captain has been honoured for his 'outstanding bravery and airmanship' evacuating battlefield casualties while under heavy fire during a mission in southern Afghanistan.
Flight Lieutenant Gerald Wyatt, known as 'Gez', has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for his actions in last week's Operational Honours and Awards List. His citation reads:
"Flight Lieutenant Wyatt, captain of a high readiness Chinook, was scrambled to recover a military casualty with a life-threatening gunshot wound to the neck, when it soon became clear that the landing site was compromised.
"Putting the needs of the casualty above his own safety, Wyatt elected to keep the aircraft on the ground long enough to recover the injured soldier, despite continuous incoming small arms fire.
"The Force Protection (FP) Team was immediately deployed to support friendly troops and the casualty was recovered by the Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT) and crewman. As the FP Team recovered to the aircraft it emerged that one member had been shot in the shoulder and required urgent treatment.
"Wyatt kept his nerve under a hail of ground fire, lifting only when both casualties were safely on board....
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And then there is:
Soldier honoured for storming insurgent position at 'Devil's Doorstep'
5 Oct 12A soldier who led his men in a daring counter attack on an insurgent position that ultimately transformed the entire security situation in the area has been Mentioned in Despatches for his unflinching courage under enemy fire.
Colour Serjeant* Tony Bramham, aged 32, from 5th Battalion The Rifles, charged across deadly ground towards the insurgents when his patrol came under fire on 10 November last year in Babaji - an area known as the 'Devil's Doorstep' for it's ferocious fighting.
Three soldiers had been killed in the area in the previous three months and there had been 50 improvised explosive device (IED) and grenade attacks.
Just two weeks after arriving at Babaji's Checkpoint Sorab, Colour Serjeant Bramham, from Newton Aycliffe in County Durham, was to find out just how determined the enemy was when his platoon patrolled the nearby village of Sukmanda.
Split into two small sub-units the patrol inched forward under cover, but, when they were just 100 metres away from an enemy position, gunfire erupted and bullets snapped the tree branches just inches above their heads.
Unable to return fire because they couldn't see the insurgents, Colour Serjeant Bramham rallied his men and led them forwards. His idea was to become more visible so the second patrol could identify and target the enemy firing points.
His ploy worked, but the ensuing fire fight stopped them in their tracks. The ground was unknown to them and IEDs could be anywhere, but, with few options, Colour Serjeant Bramham took the decision to charge the enemy position. In full view, and with only partial cover from a smoke grenade, he led his men in a sprint towards the insurgents.
Shocked, the enemy ran away, but within moments they counter-attacked, before finally being defeated.
Colour Serjeant Bramham's citation reads:..
Go and read here.
Yes, there is another Every Day Hero:
DSO for Army Major who charged enemy lines
5 Oct 12An Army Major who threw himself into the line of fire to save the lives of his elite Army unit in Afghanistan has been awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO).
Major Justin Stenhouse, aged 36, from 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards, was the Squadron Leader of the Brigade Reconnaissance Force (BRF) during Operation HERRICK 15.
This elite force is tasked with taking the fight to the insurgents, disrupting their chain of command and limiting their movement of weaponry, with Major Stenhouse leading his men on around 70 missions, often in heavily-contested areas.
During one of these daring missions to recover weaponry from insurgents, Major Stenhouse and his men came under heavy fire. With his soldiers pinned down by the force of the attack, Major Stenhouse ran forward into oncoming fire to take the momentum away from the enemy. His actions shocked the insurgents so much that they withdrew from the attack.
On another airborne mission in support of Afghan soldiers, Major Stenhouse, from Hartfield in East Sussex, led an operation to defeat a group of insurgents who were preparing to carry out a series of attacks on the provincial capital of Helmand.
As soon as he landed, it was obvious that the insurgents were intent on fighting to the death.
With complete disregard for his own safety, and under intense fire, Major Stenhouse led the assault on the insurgents' position. His personal bravery undoubtedly saved lives and set the conditions for operational success.
Indeed, throughout his tour, the BRF removed 29 insurgents from the battlefield, seized 1.6 tonnes of homemade explosives, including 61 improvised explosive devices, and captured 21 weapons...
The rest of the story here.