Four Dyess Airmen die in C-130 crash

Staff Writer

Four Dyess Air Force Base Airmen were killed when a C-130J crashed in Afghanistan just after midnight Friday (just before 3 p.m. on Thursday CDT).
The Airmen were assigned to the 317th Airlift Group, according to the a press release from Dyess. Their crew consisted of two C-130J pilots and two loadmasters. Two additional military service members from another base and five civilians also passed away.
The names of the deceased are being withheld until 24 hours after the families of the Airmen have been notified.
The aircraft crashed during the initial take-off from Jalalabad Airfield, Afghanistan. The exact cause of the crash in currently under investigation by officials in the Central Command Area of Responsibility.
“The death of these Airmen, who died in service to our country, is a profound loss,” said Col. Michael Bob Starr, 7th Bomb Wing commander. “The sadness and shock of this tragedy can be felt across the entire Dyess community, and our hearts and prayers go out to our brothers and sisters in the 317th AG. We are extending every available resource to comfort and care for the family and friends of our fallen heroes.”
The depth of tragedy surrounding the loss of four courageous airmen from our own Dyess Air Force Base and seven other lives lost today is unspeakable," said State Representative Susan King. "These lives lost typify the selfless sacrifice our men and women put on the line daily to serve our beloved country. I ask that you unite in prayer for these families as they travel the steps of grief and adjustment at this fragile time. May we all show appreciation for  these fallen heroes for protecting our freedoms."
“This is a deeply emotional time for everyone in the 317th Airlift Group,” said Col. Stephen Hodge, 317th AG commander. “The friendship and camaraderie in the Herk community, especially among our Dyess and Abilene friends is unlike any other. These Airmen and their loved ones are our family and we will continue to take care of them.”
Leaders across the community and state-wide are offering Dyess an unyielding show of support. Flags are being flown at half-staff, members of Military Affairs delivered around 400 meals to the building on base where counselors are stationed and notification is taking place, and everyone else is standing-by waiting to help anyway they can.
The Military Affairs committee has also arranged for the 317th crew to have lunch at several local restaurants.