Then Master Sergeant Spillane and his crew (GLIDE 03) were awarded the Doolittle Trophy for demonstrating unparalleled resolve while evading five (5) Ringback surface to air missiles during an engagement with the enemy in the skys above Baghdad Iraq. Master Sergeant Spillane directed evasive maneuvers and strategically dispensed counter measures to prevent a direct hit. The crews actions were responsible for the safe recovery of the 30 Million dollar aircraft, four (4) passengers and two (2) tons of mission essential combat equipment. Several Days later, the same crew without Sgt Spillane responded when two (2) Blackhawk helicopters collided near Mosul Iraq. The crew, without regard for their own safety, flew into the unsecured area to evacuate the injured survivors. Because of their actions five (5) Army personnel were med-evaced to medical facilities with advanced life saving equipment.
The Doolittle Trophy is named after General James H. Doolittle an aviation pioneer that completed the first trans-national flight, performed the first outside loop in and aircraft, was the first pilot to take-off, fly and land on aircraft instruments and he lead the infamous "Doolittle Raid" which bombed Japan in WW II for which he received the Congressional Medal of Honor. Prior to 2011, The Doolittle Trophy recognized the Air Mobility Command's Aircrew of the Year!