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Honoring those who fought and died in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn
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Air Force Senior Master Sgt. James B. Lackey

Died April 9, 2010 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom


45, of Green Clove Springs, Fla.; assigned to the 8th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla.; died April 9 near Kandahar, Afghanistan, in a crash of a CV-22 Osprey.

4 dead in AFSOC Osprey crash

Staff and wire reports

An Air Force Special Operations Command CV-22 Osprey crashed late Thursday in Afghanistan, killing three service members and a civilian contractor, NATO officials said.

As of Friday, the names of the dead had not been released. The aircraft was assigned to the 1st Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field, Fla.

The CV-22 went down after dark about seven miles from Qalat, the capital of Zabul province in eastern Afghanistan, NATO said. The cause of the crash was under investigation.

The Osprey takes off and lands much like a helicopter, but its engines roll forward in flight, allowing it to fly at about 250 mph, faster than a helicopter.

The crash is the first fatal mishap involving a CV-22 since the special operations aircraft became operational in 2006, according to the Air Force. By the end of fiscal 2009, CV-22s had logged more than 8,060 flight hours.

The loss is also the first fatal crash of an Air Force plane in Afghanistan since the July 18 loss of an F-15E Strike Eagle.

The CV-22 is much like the Marine Corps version of the Osprey. However, the Air Force edition flies with a third cockpit crew member — a flight engineer — and has sophisticated navigation gear for night and low-level operations. A second flight engineer is stationed in the cargo area.

Overall, the plane can carry up to 32 troops or 10,000 pounds of supplies.


2 airmen killed in Osprey crash identified

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Defense Department says two airmen assigned to Hurlburt Field, Fla., were among those killed when their aircraft crashed in Afghanistan.

The Defense Department says 43-year-old Maj. Randell D. Voas of Lakeville, Minn., and 45-year-old Senior Master Sgt. James B. Lackey of Green Clove Springs, Fla., died Friday when an Air Force Osprey crashed near Kandahar. Both airmen were assigned to the 8th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt.

The military said Friday that three service members and one civilian contractor had died in the first crash of the costly tilt-rotor aircraft in a combat zone. The other two people aboard the aircraft have not yet been identified.


‘He was loved by everyone in every capacity’

The Associated Press

James Lackey was a man of integrity who was dedicated to his family — exemplified by the way he helped his sister fight through her health problems, friends and family said.

“In every role that he had as a husband, father, son, young brother, he was loved by everyone in every capacity,” said the Rev. Roger Peadro of First Christian Church Disciples of Christ in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., where Lackey was a member.

The 45-year-old airman from Green Cove Springs was killed April 9 near Kandahar, Afghanistan, when the aircraft he was in crashed. He was assigned to Hurlburt Field.

He graduated from Lincoln High School in 1983 and enlisted in the Air Force in 1986. He began his career as a maintenance crew chief before becoming a helicopter pilot.

“Flying was their priority, and nothing ever got in the way of that. They instructed with the intangible experience that only flight time could bestow, but more significantly, we lost men who inspired others, men of integrity who set the standards,” Lt. Col. Matt Glover said, according to an Air Force press release.

He was referring to Lackey and Maj. Randell Voas, who also was killed in the crash.

Lackey is survived by his wife, Cassie, and sons, Brandon, Alex and Nick.

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