Joy receives military award

Published 4:22 pm Wednesday, May 4, 2011

TECH. SGT. RICHARD JOY II, left, a 17-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, receives high military award from John Flournoy Jr., right.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Richard L. Joy II, son of Mr. and Mrs. Richard L. Joy of Bainbridge, a member of the crew of 33rd rescue squadron, has received the “Jolly Green Association 2010 Rescue Mission of the Year Award in recognition of superior airmanship.”

The citation accompanying the award reads as follows:

“Tech. Sgt. Richard L. Joy distinguished himself by outstanding achievement as the aerial gunner for PEDRO 83, Flight of two HH-60G Pave Hawks, while conducting rescue operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan on Nov. 14, 2010.

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“On that day, Sgt. Joy executed a mass casualty evacuation mission in the Watapur Valley, located in eastern Afghanistan in support of deliberate coalition force shaping operations. For over four hours he assisted in recording vital coordinates for several MEDEVAC locations, acted as the primary radio operator with command and control elements; all the while maintaining a vigilant scan for enemy positions.

“On one particular mission, as the crew lowered Pararescueman to the survivors, the aircraft received an intense volley of small arms, heavy machine gun and rocket propelled grenade fire from multiple enemy positions. Undaunted by rounds impacting the aircraft and RPGs exploding within 25 feet of his position, Sgt. Joy positively identified multiple enemy positions engaging the aircraft and began courageously returning fire to suppress the threat while the crew continued to hoist the Pararescueman to the critically wounded soldiers below. Ultimately, his heroic actions under direct enemy fire resulted in the evacuation of 11 casualties, many of whom would not have survived if not for the quick actions of Tech. Sgt. Joy and his crew. Their gallantry and devotion to duty reflect great credit upon themselves and the United States Air Force.”