U.S. Air Force Gen. Mike Holmes, Air Combat Command commander, left; Maj. Tyler Schultz and Capt. Samantha Harvey, 354th Fighter Squadron A-10C Thunderbolt II fighter pilots; and Chief Master Sgt. Frank Batten III, Air Combat Command command chief. Schultz and Harvey received the Distinguished Flying Cross for disrupting an Islamic State attack on U.S. Army personnel near Shaddadi, Syria, in 2017.

Giovanni Sims / U.S. Air Force

Two A-10 pilots from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base have been recognized for protecting Army forces fighting the Islamic State.

Maj. Tyler Schultz and Capt. Samantha Harvey received Distinguished Flying Crosses for their “heroic actions” while engaging fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria near al-Shaddadi, Syria, on May 2, 2017, according to a news release from D-M.

The two pilots of A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft responded when a U.S. joint terminal attack controller reported his team was surrounded and under intense direct fire.

“Talking with the JTAC — I learned what fear sounds like,” Harvey said in the news release. “All that mattered was he needed us at that moment.”

Harvey descended in her aircraft in a show of force while Schultz executed four strafing runs directly onto the enemy threat.

“We’re there to support, protect and bring our ground forces home,” Schultz said in the news release.

More than 50 U.S. personnel were saved as a result of Harvey’s flight leadership and Schultz’s response under pressure, according to the release.

“It was dark, but I had a job to do,” Harvey said. “I thought to myself, this is the moment that I’ve been training for.”

The award was presented on March 2 by Gen. Mike Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command.

Contact reporter Curt Prendergast at 573-4224 or cprendergast@tucson.com or on Twitter @CurtTucsonStar