Following Desert Storm the 21st SOS was based out of Incirlik, Turkey supporting primarily Operation PROVIDE COMFORT. The unit was also tasked periodically to support classified missions outside of this tasking - this was one of them.
Our crews were alerted and launched to recover critically injured US personnel from Northern Iraq, unfortunately one died while we were enroute.
This was an 8 hour mission involving both day and night air refueling and avoiding ground fire while crossing into and out of Northern Iraq. At that time no one was friendly in the tri-border region (Iraq, Syria, Turkey).
We exfilled the personnel and transloaded them to an MC-130 at Dyabikyr, Turkey before returning to Incirlik. The injured were taken to Landstuhl, Germany.
This crew included, most notably, LTG Donny Wurster. Because of the nature of these missions and operating outside of OPC authorities, the 21st SOS aircrews wereawarded the Kuwait Liberation Medal until August 1993.
5 days earlier on a similar mission aircrews from the 21st SOS were awarded the MacKay Trophy and Air Medals.