MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. -- Maj. Troy D. Callahan, the director of safety and standardization and a CH-53E Super Stallion pilot for Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 366, was awarded a Bronze Star during a ceremony at the squadron’s hangar Nov. 30.
Callahan earned the award for his actions in Afghanistan, which included flying more than 250 combat flight hours and leading a number of tactical operations.
The squadron as a whole flew more than 4,500 flight hours during the six-month deployment, which Callahan said is equivalent to two years of flight hours in the United States.
“I am very honored,” Callahan said. “I have much to be thankful for. I’m happy we brought everyone home, that we didn’t damage any aircraft, and I’m very thankful to the maintainers who kept the aircraft in shape for the combat operations we did out there. I’d like to say I had something to do with it, but those maintainers and those aircrew made everything happen.”
After leading Marines for 13 years, and flying the CH-53E for most of them, Callahan said he feels that the best aspect of his job is using his behemoth helicopter to support Marines on the ground.
“Being able to provide support to the ground forces, that’s the most gratifying part of it,” he said.