58th SOW instructors receive Distinguished Flying Cross medals

Commander of the 19th Air Force, Maj. Gen Patrick J. Doherty, (far left) presented four instructors from the 58th Special Operations Wing with Distinguished Flying Cross medals during a ceremony at Kirtland Air Force Base May 23. (Left to right) Maj. Robert Meyersohn, Maj. Arjun Rau, TSgt. David Shea and Tech. Sgt. Kenneth Zupow received the medals for their harrowing feats of bravery during separate missions in downrange environments.

Commander of the 19th Air Force, Maj. Gen Patrick J. Doherty, (far left) presented four instructors from the 58th Special Operations Wing with Distinguished Flying Cross medals during a ceremony at Kirtland Air Force Base May 23. (Left to right) Maj. Robert Meyersohn, Maj. Arjun Rau, TSgt. David Shea and Tech. Sgt. Kenneth Zupow received the medals for their harrowing feats of bravery during separate missions in downrange environments.

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, New Mexico --
Four instructors from the 58th Special Operations Wing were presented Distinguished Flying Cross medals during a ceremony at Kirtland Air Force Base May 23.

Maj. Robert Meyersohn, Maj. Arjun Rau, Tech. Sgt. David Shea and Tech. Sgt. Kenneth Zupow were identified for their harrowing feats of bravery during separate missions in downrange environments.

“This is a great day for the rescue community,” said Maj. Robert C. Meyersohn, 58th SOW CV-22 Osprey pilot instructor. “I am very proud to stand with my brothers-in-arms and watch them get celebrated for the amazing things that they’ve done.”

Meyersohn received the award for actions as a CV-22 flight commander while recovering precious cargo from behind enemy lines in 2014. Meyersohn successfully led a three aircraft formation into high risk area under zero-luminous conditions to retrieve precious cargo and ground forces while preventing unnecessary risk to combat forces. 

Rau, Shea and Zupow were awarded the DFC for flying a non-combatant evacuation in 2013. During the evacuation of the American and allied civilians, the two aircraft came under heavy enemy fire. With more than 100 holes being put in each aircraft and personnel being hit on the lead aircraft, they successfully recovered aircraft and medically assisted the injured personnel.   

Maj. Gen. Patrick Doherty, 19th Air Force commander, presented the medals. He said the recipients represented the Air Force and the 58th Special Operations Wing with honor.

“These Airmen’s actions are a true testament to what we talk about, train for, prepare for and breathe every day,” Doherty said. “As one of the most decorated wings in our Air Force, it is my honor and privilege to present these Distinguished Flying crosses to these Airmen who will inspire our future warriors.”

The Distinguished Flying Cross ranks as the highest military aviation award.