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Name (Last, First Middle)Lengel, Edward J.
Branch at time of eventUSAF
Home Town
Home State
High School
High School Activities
Post High School
Academy Experiences
Academic Degree MajorBS USAFA - 1992 NavalPG Sch - 2006
Active Duty AssignmentsPltTng,VanceAFB,TX;94:VandenbergAFB;98:NAS,,Keflavic Iceland;99:NellisAFB;03:Davis-Monthan;04:Hurlburt Field;05:StuNavalPostgraduateSch;06:OpsOfcr,55thResS q,DavisMonthanAFB;08:Cmdr,41st ResSq,MoodyAFB
Civilian Positions
Award Year2003
Award Summary InformationMajor Edward J. Lengel, United States Air Force Academy Class of 1992, distinguished himself as an HH-60G Pavehawk aircraft commander and flight lead during a rescue and recovery mission during Operation ANACONDA, an attack of an al Qaeda stronghold in the Shahi Kowt Valley of Paktai Province in Eastern Afghanistan. This was the largest US ground assault of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM since DESERT STORM. Major Lengel expertly navigated hostile territory in response to an immediate evacuation request of numerous wounded soldiers. Approaching the high altitude landing zone, Major Lengel observed firefights erupting on three sides, and was forced to dump fuel to ensure the helicopter could land at the extreme elevation. Major Lengel expertly guided the helicopter to the ground 50 meters away from the wounded soldiers, While his pararescue men exited the aircraft, enemy troops opened up with all available weapons on the helicopter; several high explosive rounds landed within one rotor disk of the helicopter. Calling for AC-130 Spectre support, Major Lengel held his position while his pararescue men loaded two stretcher patients and two ambulatory patients onto the Pavehawk. The weight of the four additional soldiers required all of Major Lengel's skill in piloting the helicopter; between the additional weight and high altitude, the helicopter was unable to hover at 10 feet above the ground. Major Lengel kept the aircraft in ground effect--less than 10 feet above the ground--for as long as possible, following a dry streambed until he reached sufficient airspee enable him to climb away from the rocks below. Within sect, -a, Major Lengel turned the HH-60 back into the fight to add his firepower to that of the Spectre and provide overhead cover for his wingman who was still in the landing zone loading more critically injured personnel. Major Lengel successful directed the egress of the landing zone, alerted the forward area surgical team and off-loaded the wounded. Major Lengel's outstanding poise, bravery and professional expertise as flight lead were essential to the successful mission. The distinctive accomplishments of Major Lengel reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
Involved Crew Members
Burial Site/DateN/A
Aeronautical Speciality RatingCommand Pilot
Notable Military and Civilian Decorations & AwardsLtColonal,USAF,2009
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