Four killed returning from AF mission...

Hate & Discontent

Yo, homie. Is that my briefcase?
Aug 22, 2005
15,789
1,347
693
#1
HURLBURT FIELD — Four Hurlburt Field airmen died Saturday when their plane went down just a few miles short of the remote African military base at which they were stationed.

Capt. Ryan P. Hall, Capt. Nicholas S. Whitlock, 1st Lt. Justin J. Wilkens and Senior Airman Julian S. Scholten comprised the crew of the U-28A troop support aircraft that went down about 8 p.m. Africa time, according to Col. Jim Slife, the 1st Special Operations Wing commander at Hurlburt.

“They were less than 12 miles from base,” Slife said at a news conference Monday afternoon. “They had completed their mission and were on their way back.”
Rest of the article at the link.


Fuck.
 

Neon

ネオン
Donator
Mar 23, 2008
51,820
18,545
513
Kingdom of Charis
#4

Hate & Discontent

Yo, homie. Is that my briefcase?
Aug 22, 2005
15,789
1,347
693
#5
Shitty article. It was in Djibouti, which has the only major U.S. AF base in Africa. One of them was from an intelligence squadron. Causes unknown. That's what I remember from the article I saw.
Sounds about right. Is it bad that I'm annoyed that this thread has 108 views but 4 replies (counting this one)?
 

Neon

ネオン
Donator
Mar 23, 2008
51,820
18,545
513
Kingdom of Charis
#6
Sounds about right. Is it bad that I'm annoyed that this thread has 108 views but 4 replies (counting this one)?
Well, to be fair, from the reporting it kinda sounds like they are thinking accident or something more "routine." That doesn't make it less sad, but maybe less of a big story.
 

Party Rooster

Unleash The Beast
Apr 27, 2005
40,284
7,454
438
The Inland Empire State
#7
Sounds about right. Is it bad that I'm annoyed that this thread has 108 views but 4 replies (counting this one)?
I was kinda waiting for some of you guys more "in the know" about these types of things for more info since the article was so vague. Sounds like it was just a tragic plane crash, I thought some savages might have at least taken credit for shooting it down by now.

I thought maybe it had something to do with trying to rescue that surfer dude that got kidnapped there not too long ago or us wanting to target al Qaeda or pirate strongholds in that area. RIP airmen...
 

MayrMeninoCrash

Liberal Psycopath
Dec 9, 2004
24,560
8,729
693
Loveland, CO
#8
Come on guys, can we have a little respect! Whitney Houston's funeral was just a couple days ago. Stop hogging all the attention! :trollol:
 

Hate & Discontent

Yo, homie. Is that my briefcase?
Aug 22, 2005
15,789
1,347
693
#10
I was kinda waiting for some of you guys more "in the know" about these types of things for more info since the article was so vague. Sounds like it was just a tragic plane crash, I thought some savages might have at least taken credit for shooting it down by now.

I thought maybe it had something to do with trying to rescue that surfer dude that got kidnapped there not too long ago or us wanting to target al Qaeda or pirate strongholds in that area. RIP airmen...
In all likelihood, it was pilot error or an accident of some kind - possibly a bird strike. With a single-engine aircraft, you don't have much to fall back on if the engine or prop is damaged by one, and that gets much worse at low altitude. I've been keeping my eye on the local news for any official info on the cause, but it'll probably be a while.
 
Jun 2, 2005
15,516
4
0
Dallas
#11
Little more info, but not much:

After a weekend crash killed four Hurlburt Field airmen in Africa, the base community is focused on helping family, friends and fellow airmen grieve.

A memorial service is being planned in the coming days for Capt. Ryan Hall, 30, Capt. Nicholas Whitlock, 29, 1st Lt. Justin Wilkens, 26, and Senior Airman Julian Scholten, 26.

The bodies of the men were treated with military honors when they arrived early Tuesday at Dover Air Force Base, Del.

"Memorial services help our team at Hurlburt and the families work their way through the grieving process," said Hurlburt Field Col. Jim Slife, commander of the 1st Special Operations Wing. "It's the beginning of closure in dealing with your own grief."

The U-28A aircraft the airmen were aboard crashed Saturday near Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa.

The men were returning from a mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, according to a Hurlburt Field news release. The Air Force is investigating the cause of the crash.

"The initial reports stated that there was no hostile fire," said Senior Airman Joe McFadden, public affairs specialist for the 1st Special Operations Wing. "With that being said, they are looking into a full comprehensive investigation as to the cause. At this time, that is all that we know."

The U-28A crew
Hall, of Colorado Springs, Colo., was a U-28A pilot on his seventh deployment. He entered the Air Force in 2004, receiving his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps. at The Citadel. He had been assigned to the 319th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field since 2007 and had more than 1,300 combat flight hours.

Whitlock, of Newnan, Ga., was also a U-28A pilot and was on his fifth deployment. He entered the Air Force in 2006, receiving his commission through the Officer Training School. He had been assigned to the 319th Special Operations Squadron and then to the 34th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field since 2008. He had more than 800 combat flight hours.

Whitlock also was a graduate of Mercy University, where he received a degree in business administration. He earned a master's in business administration at the University of Florida.

Wilkens, of Bend, Ore., was a combat systems officer on his third deployment. He entered the Air Force in 2009, receiving his commission through the Air Force Academy. He had been assigned to the 34th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field since April 2011 and had more than 400 combat hours.

Scholten, of Upper Marlboro, Md., was a mission systems operator assigned to the 25th Intelligence Squadron at Hurlburt Field since 2009. He enlisted in the Air Force in 2007. He had more than 900 combat hours in six different airframes and was on his third deployment.

Tragic news
Word of the airmen's death spread slowly throughout the local community Monday. Few of those gathered in the Special Operations VFW Spectre Post 11368 located near the base had heard about it by 2 p.m.

Carmen Duncan, who sat at the bar chatting with friends, said she learned about the tragedy about 11 a.m.

"

The news hit close to home for her, she said.

"My husband died 16 years ago in active service in special operations ... in a plane crash in Somalia," she said of the late Roy Duncan. "I know what the families are going through."

Pastor Ron Rice of Liberty Church's Gulf Breeze-Navarre Campus said about 20 Hurlburt Field families are members of the church.

And at any given time, husbands are deployed or returning to base, Rice said.

Praying for their safety or celebrating their safe return is a part of every service.
The U-28a:



It's a pretty modern plane, it was just released in 1991, but it's still a little single-engine prop plane operating in a pretty hostile environment for those types of engines, so considering the claims of no hostile fire, I'm guessing engine or avionics trouble and they just couldn't get a handle on it.

I've got to admit, though, the complete lack of released facts has my security clearance detector tingling... Normally you'd have a line thrown in about the pilot "radioing about engine trouble" or something, and there's fucking zero details in that regard. Special ops... Curiously every death in history has been a training accident.

RIP fellas.
 

Hoffman

Guess who's back? Hoffman's back
Sep 28, 2006
34,674
2,022
458
Northern VA
#12
Shitty article. It was in Djibouti, which has the only major U.S. AF base in Africa. One of them was from an intelligence squadron. Causes unknown. That's what I remember from the article I saw.
Naval base actually. Camp Lemonier.
 

Neon

ネオン
Donator
Mar 23, 2008
51,820
18,545
513
Kingdom of Charis
#14
[video=youtube;KPNT5j_OMzw]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPNT5j_OMzw[/video]
 

jimmyslostchin

Malarkey is slang for bullshit isn't it?
Jun 8, 2005
2,331
50
313
NJ
#18
Someone should tell the army they erroneously named Camp Bondsteel.
 

Hoffman

Guess who's back? Hoffman's back
Sep 28, 2006
34,674
2,022
458
Northern VA
#21
Way to demote a Rear Admiral.
Scott Hurst is still a Captain as far as I'm aware. I believe your thinking of Michael Franken; he commands the Combined Joint Task Force. Two separate entities.
 

lajikal

Registered User
Aug 6, 2009
16,188
3,900
373
#22
Scott Hurst is still a Captain as far as I'm aware. I believe your thinking of Michael Franken; he commands the Combined Joint Task Force. Two separate entities.
Fuck you. You're right.