December 6, 2013, Westhampton Beach, New York: The 103rd Rescue Squadron hosted a ceremony to commemorate the awarding of Bronze Stars with “V” device to six Air Force Pararescuemen for an extraordinary rescue mission under fire in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan last year. The Air National Guardsmen of the 103rd, made famous by their portrayal in the book and film, The Perfect Storm, were recognized by Governor Andrew Cuomo in a statement he released describing the harrowing rescue, which can be read below. I have to give a special HooYah to my old pipeline buddy and former Army Ranger Anthony Yusup, still “Living by the Motto.” Awesome job, guys- BK

From Governor Cuomo’s statement:

On Dec. 10, 2012, the six 103rd Rescue Squadron Airmen were the Guardian Angel team assigned to man two HH-60 Pavehawk rescue helicopters flown by members of the 55th Rescue Squadron, an Active Air Force unit. A platoon of about 25 Soldiers had been ambushed and four Soldiers, including one of the Americans who later died, were very badly injured.

The unit was still under Taliban fire as the two helicopters approached the scene. One of the helicopters moved into the area to put the three-man team of Yusup, Dougherty, and Petersen on the ground first.