• U.S. Air Force Special Tactics Airmen plan 830-mile ruck in honor of fallen

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    February 25, 2019
    Release #19-006
     
    U.S. Air Force Special Tactics Airmen plan 830-mile ruck in honor of fallen
     
    24th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
     
    HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. Twenty Special Tactics Airmen will ruck from Medina Annex at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas to Hurlburt Field to pay tribute to Staff Sgt. Dylan J. Elchin, a Special Tactics combat controller, who was killed in Afghanistan on Nov. 27, 2018, and in honor of the other 19 Special Tactics Airmen who have been killed in action since 9/11.
     
    Elchin, along with U.S. Army Capt. Andrew Ross and U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Eric Emond, were killed in action when their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan, Nov. 27, 2018, while deployed in support of OPERATION Freedom’s Sentinel. U.S. Army Sgt. Jason McClary died later as a result of injuries sustained from the IED.
     
    The Special Tactics Airmen will depart Medina Annex on Feb. 22 at 2:00 a.m. and they are scheduled to arrive at Hurlburt Field, Mar. 4 at 1:00 p.m.
     
    Special Tactics Airmen begin their training at Medina Annex, together, and become combat ready upon graduation of the Special Tactics Training Squadron at Hurlburt Field, thus the march route mimics the training passage our Airmen endure. The journey takes the Airmen across five states and 830 miles.
     
    Historically, Air Force Special Tactics plans a memorial march when a member is killed in action. This is the 5th Special Tactics Memorial March since 2009 and since it originated as the “Tim Davis Memorial March.” The march was renamed to honor all fallen Special Tactics Airmen in 2011 to the “Special Tactics Memorial March.”
     
    The ruck marchers are composed of 10 teams of two Special Tactics Airmen. These Airmen will begin the march by rucking the first 4.7 miles together.
     
    From there, each team will ruck an average of 12 miles per leg and alternate teams. Each day, the teams will ruck a combined 70 miles to complete the 830-mile journey over 11 days.
     
    A memorial baton inscribed with each of the fallen Special Tactics Airman’s names will be carried throughout the way to honor the fallen:
    Master Sgt. William McDaniel of Greenville, Ohio, Special Tactics Pararescueman, Feb. 22, 2002
    Staff Sgt. Juan Ridout of Oak Harbor, Wa., Special Tactics Pararescueman, Feb. 22, 2002
    Master Sgt. John Chapman of Windsor Locks, Conn., Special Tactics Combat Controller, Mar. 4, 2002
    Senior Airman Jason Cunningham of Camarillo, Calif., Special Tactics Pararescueman, Mar. 4, 2002
    Staff Sgt. Scott Sather of Clio, Mich., Special Tactics Combat Controller, April 8, 2003
    Capt. Derek Argel of Lompoc, Calif., Special Tactics Officer, May 30, 2005
    Capt. Jeremy Fresques of Clarksdale, Ariz., Special Tactics Officer, May 30, 2005
    Staff Sgt. Casey Crate of Spanaway, Wash., Special Tactics Combat Controller, May 30, 2005
    Senior Airman Adam Servais of Onalaska, Wis., Special Tactics Combat Controller, Aug. 19, 2006
    Technical Sgt. Scott Duffman of Albuquerque, N.M., Special Tactics Pararescueman, Feb. 18, 2007
    Technical Sgt. William Jefferson of Norfolk, Va., Special Tactics Combat Controller, Mar. 22, 2008
    Staff Sgt. Timothy Davis of Aberdeen, Wash., Special Tactics Combat Controller, Feb. 20, 2009
    Senior Airman Daniel Sanchez of El Paso, Texas, Special Tactics Combat Controller, Sep. 16, 2010
    Senior Airman Mark Forester of Tuscaloosa, Ala., Special Tactics Combat Controller, Sep. 29, 2010
    Technical Sgt. John Brown of Tallahassee, Special Tactics Pararescueman, Aug. 6, 2011
    Technical Sgt. Daniel Zerbe of York, Pa., Special Tactics Pararescueman, Aug. 6, 2011
    Staff Sgt. Andrew Harvell of Long Beach, Calif., Special Tactics Combat Controller, Aug. 6, 2011
    Capt. Matthew Roland of Lexington, Ky., Special Tactics Officer, Aug. 26, 2015
    Staff Sgt. Forrest Sibley of Pensacola, Special Tactics Combat Controller, Aug. 26, 2015
    Staff Sgt. Dylan Elchin of Hookstown, Pa., Special Tactics Combat Controller, Nov. 27, 2018
     
    Today, there are about 1,000 Special Tactics operators who combine the core skills of special operations forces with the tactical integration of the world’s greatest airpower, working to find unique solutions to ground problems. They are the most decorated community in the Air Force since the end of the Vietnam War, with one Medal of Honor, ten Air Force Crosses, and 44 Silver Stars.
     
    Special Tactics is U.S. Special Operation Command’s tactical air and ground integration force, and the Air Force’s special operations ground force, leading Global Access, Precision Strike, Personnel Recovery and Battlefield Surgery operations on the battlefield.
     
    A disciplined special operations force of hand-selected Airmen leading joint operations, Special Tactics Airmen are deliberate in their thoughts and actions to deliver solutions to the nation’s most complex military challenges. They conduct global air, space, and cyber-enabled special operations across the spectrum of conflict to prepare for, fight, and win our nation’s wars.
     
    For live updates and to track the Special Tactics memorial ruck march, please go to: http://raceday.me/v/75e11  
     
    The 24th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs office will post continuous updates and imagery on the following sites:
    https://www.facebook.com/AirForceSpecialTactics/
    https://www.instagram.com/air_force_special_tactics/
    https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/
    https://twitter.com/AFSpecOpsCmd
     
    There will be opportunities for media interviews along the route. Public Affairs will offer live calls to check in with the teams during the ruck march.
     
    There will be a media event at Lackland Air Force Base, Feb. 21. If media is unable to attend, public affairs will provide a telephone number.
     
    Throughout the march, imagery will be published on a ruck march feature page on Dvidshub.net.
     
    If media is interested in covering this story in any capacity, please contact the 24th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs office at 850- 884-3902, or at 413-237-4466, or jaclyn.pienkowski@us.af.mil, or 24sowpublicaffairs@gmail.com.
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    JACLYN N. PIENKOWSKI, 1st LT, USAF
    Public Affairs Advisor
    24th Special Operations Wing
    Hurlburt Field, FL
    Comm: 850-884-3902
    Cell: 413-237-4466
    DSN: 579-3902
    Jaclyn.pienkowski@us.af.mil
    SIPR: Jaclyn.pienkowski@socom.smil.mil
    Flickr: www.Flickr.com/AirForceSpecialTactics
    Website: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil; https://www.facebook.com/AirForceSpecialTactics