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121128-F-YG608-078 | by North Carolina National Guard
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RAPID CITY, S.D. -- North Carolina National Guard leadership traveled to South Dakota Nov. 27-28, 2012, to present awards and say thank you to South Dakota Army National Guard Soldiers and Airmen from the U.S. Air Force's 28th Bomb Wing at nearby Ellsworth Air Force Base for their response to the crash of a North Carolina Air National Guard C-130 July 1, 2012, that left four Airmen dead and two injured. Maj. Gen. Greg Lusk, adjutant general, Brig. Gen. Todd Kelly, adjutant general for air, Col. Roger Williams, 145th Airlift Wing commander and Command Sgt. Maj. John Swart, N.C. senior enlisted leader, awarded commendation and achievement medals to 17 South Dakota Guard Soldiers and 45 Ellsworth Airmen. They also visited the site of the crash of the fire fighting-equipped aircraft that went down while battling a wildfire near Edgemont, S.D. Responders from the community, the Guard and the Air Force literally drove through a forest fire to get to the crash site and rescue the two survivors of the crash and secure the site for investigators. Guard engineers had to cut a road out of the wilderness to allow access to the site. Plans are in the works now to dedicate a historical marker on a highway nearest the site on the anniversary of the tragedy. (Photos of the Ellsworth awards ceremony by Airman 1st Class Kate Thornton-Maurer and Airman 1st Class Zachary Hada of the 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs Office. Photos of the South Dakota Army National Guard awards ceremony and the crash site visit by Lt. Col. Robert Carver, North Carolina National Guard Public Affairs.)

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Taken on November 28, 2012