An Apache helicopter pilot has received an Air Medal for his efforts to respond to a helicopter that had been downed by insurgent fire in Najaf, Iraq.

This is the third Air Medal received by Chief Warrant Officer 4 Daniel McClinton, of Company B, 1st “Attack” Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division.

McClinton was part of an Apache crew that went to the downed 1st Air Cavalry Brigade Apache on Jan. 28. He spotted a trench with up to 70 armed insurgents close to the site, officials say. Receiving clearance to fire, he fired 30 mm rounds. His Apache made five or six passes, during which several dozen insurgents were killed.

McClinton, 46, of Waco, Texas, flew 8½ hours that day, about twice the normal flight hours.

“The fact that everybody — ground and air — responded to that situation shows how far we’ll go to get our guys,” said McClinton, who received the medal on Sunday at Camp Taji.

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