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Class Notes

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Captain Robert I. Sickler '05

Nininger Award Recipient 2010

The Nininger Award has been presented to Robert Sickler III '05 center--shown here with WPAOG Chairman, Jodie Glore '69 (left) and Superintendent Huntoon '73 (right)

Captain Robert Sickler class of 2005 received the 5th annual West Point Association of Graduates Alexander R. Nininger Award Wednesday, Sept. 15, during an awards ceremony at West Point. 

CPT Sickler received the Distinguished Flying Cross for valor as an Air Mission Commander on Dec. 30, 2007, during Operation Iraqi Freedom while engaged in direct action with the enemy in Mosul, Iraq. The citation reads:

On 30 December 2007, 1LT Robert I. Sickler distinguished himself by exceptional valor as the Air Mission Commander (AMC) of a Scout Weapons Team(SWT) in direct action with the enemy. 1LT Sickler’s flight of two OH-58D helicopters was conducting reconnaissance in Mosul, Iraq when he was directed to engage a van with enemy personnel that had been observed transferring weapons and test firing a large caliber machine gun. The SWT tracked the van through a residential neighborhood and engaged it when it stopped in a lightly populated area. 1LT Sickler lased the target while the second OH-58D fired a Hellfire missile. 1LT Sickler skillfully guided the missile to destroy the van, the heavy machine gun, and four enemy personnel. As the SWT closed on the destroyed van, 1LT Sickler’s OH-58D was struck by rifle and machine gun fire that knocked out all communications and seriously damaged the helicopter. In spite of imminent engine failure, 1LT Sickler and his pilot were able to successfully return to base. While the pilot shut down the damaged aircraft, 1LT Sickler ran to a waiting OH-58D and prepared for take-off. Back in the air, the SWT was notified of a follow on target from the earlier engagement. Still the AMC, and now flying the aircraft as pilot, 1LT Sickler led his SWT to attack the enemy vehicle with a Hellfire that struck the vehicle causing it to swerve off the road and the enemy to evacuate it. 1LT Sickler continued to engage the enemy with rockets, killing several. His actions and those of his SWT resulted in eight enemy insurgents killed and two vehicles and a heavy machine gun destroyed. 1LT Sickler’s leadership and bravery under fire undeniably disrupted and hindered future enemy actions.