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News > Four Hurlburt Airmen die in U-28A crash in Djibouti
 
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U-28A
The U-28A, seen in this file photo, is a single engine, manned fixed wing aircraft developed around the Pilatus PC-12 airframe that provides intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in support of special operations forces. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Four Hurlburt Airmen die in U-28A crash in Djibouti

Posted 2/22/2012   Updated 2/22/2012 Email story   Print story

    


1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

2/22/2012 - HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- Capt. Ryan P. Hall from the 319th Special Operations Squadron, Capt. Nicholas S. Whitlock and 1st Lt. Justin J. Wilkens from the 34th Special Operations Squadron and Senior Airman Julian S. Scholten from the 25th Intelligence Squadron died Feb. 18 when their U-28A was involved in an accident near Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, located in the Horn of Africa. No other personnel were on board the aircraft.

The U-28 was returning from a mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. 

Hall, 30, was a U-28A pilot on his seventh deployment. He entered the Air Force in 2004, receiving his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corp at The Citadel. He had been assigned to the 319th SOS at Hurlburt Field since 2007 and had more than 1,300 combat flight hours.

Whitlock, 29, 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 SOS and then to the 34th SOS at Hurlburt Field since 2008 and had more than 800 combat flight hours.

Wilkens, 26, 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 SOS at Hurlburt Field since April 2011 and had more than 400 combat hours.

Scholten, 26, was a mission systems operator assigned to the 25th IS at Hurlburt Field since 2009. He enlisted in the Air Force in 2007. He had more than 600 combat hours in six different airframes and was on his third deployment.

"The Hurlburt Field community expresses our deepest condolences to the family of the crew, and we share in their sorrow. Our efforts are focused on helping them through this difficult time," said Col. Jim Slife, commander of the 1st Special Operations Wing. "We will never forget the valuable contributions these brave men made to their country and community."

The U-28A is a single engine, manned fixed wing aircraft developed around the Pilatus PC-12 airframe that provides intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in support of special operations forces.

The cause of the crash is unknown at this time. The Air Force is committed to a thorough investigation, and more information will be released as it becomes available.



tabComments
2/23/2014 12:36:36 PM ET
i know i am so sorrybut nothing will change until the president realizes what he is doing to our country our prayers are always with the troops and u save our lives every day
moore lisa, las vegas
 
2/28/2012 3:45:39 PM ET
Another painful loss for 1 SOW in the fight against int'l terrorists. Brave men doing difficult things under tough conditions demonstrate an all-too-rare love of our country. My condolences. The only consolation is that 1 SOW will not let them be forgotten and will never forget to take care of the loved ones left too soon.
Rick Feeser, Boise ID
 
2/24/2012 9:58:09 PM ET
Sorry to hear of the loss of these American heros. They sacrificed all. Thank you to their families for raising and supporting such brave men. So sad their lives were cut short but they left this world doing what they loved. My sincere condolensces.
Debi Eorgan, South Carolina
 
2/24/2012 3:19:37 PM ET
We'll miss you brothers
Josh, Hurlburt Field
 
2/23/2012 10:18:21 AM ET
My family and I would like to express our deepest sympathy to the famlies and friends of those four Brave men. We have surely endured a great loss and they will not be forgotten. A salute to the heroes.
Deborah Biegalski, Ship Bottom NJ
 
2/22/2012 11:48:29 AM ET
My deepest condolences to the families friends and the adopted family who served with them. Thank you to each and every one of you for your service to our country.
Kate, pittsburgh pa
 
2/22/2012 9:04:56 AM ET
May u all rest in peace....there is a place in heaven for all our soldiers I Support our troops always
Britani norton, Mary Esther Florida
 
2/21/2012 9:02:45 PM ET
Our condolences to the families of these brave men. May God comfort you as you mourn your loss and the sacrifice they made for our country.You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Donna S.Poulnot, Snellville GA
 
2/21/2012 3:13:36 PM ET
True Hero's as are all of our Military men and women. My son is a retired AF and my daughter in law is active AF My thoughts and prayers are with the friends and families of these brave young men.
Pat, St Augustine Fl
 
2/21/2012 1:12:31 PM ET
My condolences go out to the families. I pray that God will shed abundant mercy and grace on all their loved ones at such a time of pain and grief. These brave airmen gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect all Americans. I too am a military mom my son was also stationed at Ft. Hurlburt for about 7 years until he was recently transferred to Andrews. Words cannot express the saddness I felt when I read about this. God Bless and may he give you abundant strength through this painfull loss. May the memories of your loved ones fill your heart forever.
Gloria Fernandez, Port Jefferson NY
 
2/21/2012 8:05:29 AM ET
My heart goes out to the familes and friends you are in my prayers. I'm thankful for their dedication to the military service in support of our freedom. They will not be forgotten.
Donna, Medical Group
 
2/21/2012 3:57:08 AM ET
Salute to the heroes
Andrew, Poland
 
2/20/2012 10:02:06 PM ET
My condolences and my prayers go out to the families of these brave men. May God be with you in your sorrow and always in your hearts.
Brenda Wheeler, Ankeny IA
 
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