Retired Brig. Gen. Jim Mackey presents the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor citation to Lt. Col. Anthony Roe, a flight commander with the 303d Fighter Squadron, during a ceremony at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., Nov. 2, 2019 (U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Alex Chase)

The A-10 Warthog and its brave pilots solidified their reputation as the infantry's guardian angels earlier this month when two Missouri-based airmen received one of the military's most prestigious medals for their role in saving dozens of grunts, engineers and special forces under heavy fire in Afghanistan.

The Distinguished Flying Cross is rarely awarded, let alone awarded twice on the same day to two members of the same fighter squadron, Lt. Col. Rick Mitchell, commander of the 303rd Fighter Squadron, told more than 200 onlookers at the ceremony at Whiteman Air Force Base on Nov. 2.

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Jacob Ford/Odessa American/Associated Press

A “crimped” part prevented an ejection seat from a stricken B-1B Lancer bomber from firing in May during an in-flight emergency, forcing the aircrew to land the bomber rather than abandon a stranded crew member, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein told reporters on Tuesday.

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The Air Force on Friday formally recognized the actions of the B-1B Lancer bomber aircrew that saved both themselves and their aircraft amid a fiery emergency landing in May, officials announced on Saturday.

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U.S. Air Force

The MC-103J Commando II airplane rumbled low to the ground, nearing the intense firefight below where a team of American special operators and allied commandos were encircled by Taliban fighters in a remote part of Afghanistan.

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