A-10 pilot's heroic actions in Afghanistan


Verified Military
Verified Military
Oct 24, 2006
From Mp.net.

Spangdahlem A-10 pilot takes top merit prize

An A-10 Thunderbolt pilot who came to the rescue of a Special Forces team in Afghanistan last year has been honored with the MacKay Trophy for flying the most meritorious Air Force flight of 2006.

Taking the honor is Capt. Scott L. Markle, of the 81st Fighter Squadron, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.

According to the award citation, Markle was directed to back up a 15-man Special Forces team battling Taliban fighters along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

“Markle arrived on scene to find the team engaged in hand-to-hand combat and expecting to be overrun by the enemy,” the citation said. “Unable to employ weapons due to the close proximity of the team, he flew a dangerously low pass over the enemy while dispensing self protection flares. After the ground controller noted the effectiveness of the pass in momentarily ceasing the enemy’s fire, Markle performed three additional passes, allowing the team to pull back farther each time.”

Markle also fired the jet’s 30mm Gatling gun, destroying three machine-gun nests and killing 40 Taliban fighters.

Despite being outnumbered by three to one, the Special Forces team fought their way out of the kill zone without suffering casualties.

The MacKay Trophy was created in 1912. Past recipients include Chuck Yeager, Hap Arnold, James Doolittle and Eddie Rickenbacker.

Markle will receive a gold medal at the MacKay Trophy presentation ceremony Oct. 29 at the National Aeronautic Association’s Fall Awards Banquet in the Washington, D.C., area. The trophy is on permanent display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington.
The MacKay trophy is some serious juju in the AF. It is quite prestigious. Cngrats to CPT Markle.