MANHATTAN - A pilot from Shirley and the rest of the NYPD helicopter crew that rescued two West Point cadets stranded on a cliff received commendations today from Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

Speaking to the media today, officer Steve Browning, of Shirley, credited the success of the rescue operation to years of training and great teamwork.

Early Sunday morning, Browning and a four-person crew were sent to Storm King Mountain, about 50 miles north of Manhattan, where two West Point cadets got stranded on an 18-inch ledge while on a training mission.

As Browning kept the helicopter steady amid swirling winds, another officer was lowered about 90 feet to the ledge, where the two cadets had spent about eight hours.

The cadets were attached to a harness and lifted into the helicopter.

Browning called the mission the most dangerous of his 14-year career.

The two cadets were taken to West Point Medical Center with unspecified weather-related conditions.