Pilot, flight engineer recognized posthumously for superior airmanship, saving lives during emergency landing

  • Published
  • Air Force Special Operations Command

Air Force Special Operations Command will posthumously award the Distinguished Flying Cross to Maj. Randell Voas and Senior Master Sgt. James Lackey for actions taken April 9, 2010, during a mission near Qalat, Afghanistan.

Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall authorized retroactive authority to the AFSOC commander, Lt. Gen. Tony Bauernfeind, to approve the award nominations.

Voas, a CV-22B pilot and flight lead, and Lackey, a CV-22B flight engineer, were critical to executing an emergency landing after the CV-22B experienced an unknown mechanical malfunction. Their superior airmanship saved the lives of two crew and fourteen passengers on board the aircraft. Two passengers, as well as Voas and Lackey, were killed in the mishap.

“Randy and JB’s actions in the face of chaos is what all Air Commandos train for,” said Bauernfeind. “I am grateful that we are able to recognize their final acts.”

The Distinguished Flying Cross is awarded to any officer or enlisted person of the armed forces of the United States for heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight.

The medals will be presented to the primary next of kin at a time to be determined in the future.