DVIDS – Information – 203rd RED HORSE honors its fallen on tragedy’s twentieth anniversary

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Airmen from the 192nd Wing’s 203rd Speedy Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Restore Squadron Engineers (RED HORSE) got here collectively March 3, 2021, on the State Navy Reservation in Virginia Seaside, Virginia, to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of what is referred to as the worst peacetime aviation catastrophe in Nationwide Guard historical past and the worst lack of life within the Virginia Nationwide Guard since World Conflict II.

Relations, buddies and former members of the 203rd RED HORSE additionally attended to assemble round a devoted memorial web site for the 18 Virginia Air Nationwide Guard engineers and three Florida Nationwide Guard aviators who have been killed when their aircraft crashed close to Unadilla, Georgia, on March 3, 2001.

That is the primary memorial ceremony the squadron has hosted since 2016 — previous ceremonies have been held yearly. In line with custom, Col. Inventory Dinsmore, 192nd Mission Assist Group commander, officiated the occasion as he had in years previous. Dinsmore was a member of the 203rd RED HORSE for greater than 21 years and served greater than 4 years because the squadron’s commander.

Dinsmore mentioned he remembered the fallen Airmen and the occasions of that day in 2001 however wished to concentrate on the importance of recognizing March third, 20 years later.

“Usually, 20 years is related to the completion of a army profession; there aren’t many individuals nonetheless serving within the Virginia Nationwide Guard, or most likely nonetheless serving generally, who have been part of the unit that day,” Dinsmore mentioned. “And as there grow to be fewer members for our new Airmen to ask inquiries to, to listen to the tales…how do you encourage that reference to others sooner or later?”

“This memorial will all the time be a spot of remembrance…however that connection is totally different,” he continued. “It’s not the identical while you take a look at the names, you see the faces, you hear the voices, you keep in mind the handshakes. I believe it’s vital we proceed to have these milestone ceremonies…to stay on guard eternally.”

Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant Common of Virginia, formally hosted and attended the occasion with Command Chief Grasp Sgt. James Profita, Virginia Nationwide Guard command senior enlisted chief. In his opening remarks, Williams referenced the 203rd RED HORSE’s operations tempo and members who couldn’t attend in particular person.

A staff of RED HORSE Airmen, together with the squadron’s present commander, Lt. Col. Jeffrey E. Getz, deployed in September 2020.

“The reminiscence of those heroes is carried with every Airman on the 203rd,” Williams mentioned. “And, since this tragedy occurred, the 203rd has grow to be one of the vital deployed items within the Virginia Nationwide Guard, if not your entire Air Power, and is at the moment abroad on federal energetic obligation.”

The squadron supplies extremely cellular civil engineering groups to help contingency and particular operations worldwide and returned from one other federal energetic obligation mobilization in October 2016 after spending eight months in Southwest Asia. In the course of the deployment, 203rd RED HORSE Airmen accomplished 35 tasks at 11 totally different areas in seven nations in help of Operations Freedom’s Sentinel and Inherent Resolve. The squadron additionally performed deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2003, 2006 and 2011.

Elayne Summerell attended the ceremony to commemorate her brother, Tech. Sgt. Richard Summerell of Franklin, Virginia. In his reminiscence, Summerell left her brother’s favourite sweet bar below the Bradford pear tree the place a flag and plaque lie along with his title. The tree is certainly one of 22 planted on a winding path across the meditation backyard memorial made to honor every one of many fallen Guardsmen. Beneath the twenty second tree is a plaque honoring those that died through the terrorist acts of Sept. 11, 2001 — 4 days earlier than the groundbreaking of the 203rd RED HORSE’s memorial web site on Sept. 15, 2001.

Retired Col. Thomas Turlip, 203rd RED HORSE commander in 2001, additionally attended and mirrored on the day of the tragedy and the occasions that adopted. He referred to as the 30,000-square-foot memorial web site a “labor of affection.”

“I made a promise to the households that we might not overlook, that we might all the time keep in mind these guys,” Turlip mentioned. “One of many former 203rd members got here up with this idea you see in entrance of you proper right here. We had an unlimited fundraising exercise go on…and each RED HORSE squadron, energetic obligation, reserve and guard, all constructed right here what you see.”

In the course of the occasion, an Honor Guard Airman ceremoniously laid a wreath in entrance of a 7,000-pound, black granite boulder with the names of the 21 Nationwide Guardsmen etched into its polished floor. Grasp Sgt. Patrick Maguire, 203rd RED HORSE Logistics Plans noncommissioned officer in cost, learn every title earlier than a second of silence and the enjoying of “Faucets.”

203rd RED HORSE Airmen keep in mind:

· Senior Grasp Sgt. James Beninati

· Tech. Sgt. Paul Blancato

· Grasp Sgt. Ernest Blawas

· Tech. Sgt. Andrew H. Bridges

· Senior Grasp Sgt. Eric Bulman

· Tech. Sgt. Paul Cramer

· Grasp Sgt. Michael East

· Tech. Sgt. Ronald Elkin

· Tech. Sgt. James Ferguson

· Tech. Sgt. Randy Johnson

· Workers Sgt. Mathrew Kidd

· Senior Grasp Sgt. Michael Lane

· Grasp Sgt. Edwin Richardson

· Grasp Sgt. Dean Shelby

· Tech. Sgt. John Sincavage

· Tech. Sgt. Gregory Skurupey

· Tech. Sgt. Richard Summerell

· Maj. Frederick Watkins

Florida Nationwide Guard Troopers remembered:

· Chief Warrant Officer 4 Johnny W. Duce

· Chief Warrant Officer 2 Eric P. Larson

· Workers Sgt. Robert F. Ward Jr.





Date Taken: 03.03.2021
Date Posted: 03.05.2021 12:25
Story ID: 390674
Location: VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, US 



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