Department of Homeland Security Honors Sacramento Aircrew for Valor

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, recognized the rescue efforts of aircrew members from U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento, presenting them with the Secretary’s Award for Valor at an award ceremony Nov. 20, 2008.

The crew of the Coast Guard C-130 airplane CG-1704 transported a critically ill six-week old infant from Reno, Nev., to Moffet Airfield at Mountain View, Calif., Feb. 24, 2008, and consisted of Lt. Scott Murphy; Lt. Antone Alongi; Petty Officer Class 1st Class Peter McNeil, Petty Officer 1st Class Randall Purdy, Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Aycock, Petty Officer 3rd Class Garrett Spaulding, Petty Officer 3rd Class Alexander McConnell and Petty Officer 3rd Class Mary Elliott.

The infant was delivered into the care of doctors at Stanford Medical Center in Stanford Calif., to correct a heart defect that would have proved fatal if not treated within 8-hours. Other civilian and military aircraft were unable to to undertake the rescue flight due to dangerous weather conditions, but the crew of the Coast Guard rescue aircraft volunteered to undertake the rescue flight despite the unfavorable conditions. The crew overcame icing, turbulence and low-level wind shear and successfully transported the infant to the Stanford Medical Center to recieve the appropriate medical care.

The Seceratary’s Award for Valor is the highest departmental recognition awarded for extraordinary acts of valor by an employee. The award is given to employees who have demonstrated extraordinary courage in a highly dangerous, life-threatening situation or emergency under extreme stress and involving a specific act of valor, such as saving another person’s life or property.

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