Two North Carolina National Guard helicopter pilots received the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor award during a ceremony in Raleigh on Wednesday.
Capt. Stephen Scott and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Eric Carver are in the 1-130th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, according to a statement released by the National Guard.
The battalion, which regularly trains with the 82nd Airborne Division and Special Operations units at Fort Bragg, was deployed to Afghanistan as Task Force Panther in 2018. Lt. Col. Benny Collins, commander of the task force, pinned the awards on the pilots.
Maj. Gen. Todd Hunt, adjutant general of North Carolina, said the National Guard and the state are proud of Scott and Carver. Their actions showed what Army aviation can do, he said.
“You did not think about yourselves,” he said. “You thought about the warriors on the ground.”
In late November 2018, Scott and Carver were providing security and attack support for the 7th Special Forces Group’s Operational Detachment Alpha 7225, according to the statement. The unit started taking enemy fire in a remote village of the Uruzgan Province, it said.
The two pilots quickly identified the enemy forces who were shooting, the statement said. They engaged the enemy troops after getting permission to fire, it said.
The award citations say that as co-pilots and gunners on an AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, Scott and Carver were “repeatedly engaging a robust enemy force at … close range to friendly forces.”
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Brandon P. Faia was ground force commander for the Special Forces unit. He gave his perspective on his bond with the pilots.
“Pilots and Green Berets have their own languages,” he said. “We could always count on Carver and Scott to chime in and say, ‘Oh yeah, the place you are going to is not safe, but you can count us in.’ Immediately we became friends.”
Faia said Carver and Scott risked their lives for the Special Forces soldiers.
“No medal, no words can describe how grateful we all are,” he said.
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