The deaths this week of service members in a military plane crash in Georgia and in an enemy attack in Afghanistan are a somber reminder of the dangers members face as they carry out their duties, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said today.
“First, I want to extend our condolences to the loved ones of the nine crewmembers who died in a C-130 crash yesterday in Savannah, Georgia,” White said at a Pentagon news conference.
National Guard officials said the C-130 Hercules from the Puerto Rico National Guard was performing a training mission when it crashed about 11:30 a.m. yesterday near the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport. A board of officers will investigate the crash, officials added.
Puerto Rico National Guard officials today released the names of the airmen killed in the crash:
— Air Force Maj. Jose R. Roman Rosado, pilot, from Manati, Puerto Rico;
— Air Force Maj. Carlos Perez Serra, navigator, from Canovanas, Puerto Rico;
— Air Force 1st Lt. David Albandoz, copilot, a Puerto Rico native recently residing in Madison, Alabama;
— Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Jan Paravisini, mechanic, from Canovanas, Puerto Rico;
— Air Force Master Sgt. Jean Audriffred from Carolina, Puerto Rico;
— Air Force Master Sgt. Mario Brana, flight engineer, from Bayamon, Puerto Rico;
— Air Force Master Sgt. Víctor Colon from Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico;
— Air Force Master Sgt. Eric Circuns, loadmaster, from Rio Grande, Puerto Rico; and
— Air Force Senior Airman Roberto Espada from Salinas, Puerto Rico.
Additionally, White paid tribute to a soldier killed earlier this week in Afghanistan.
“I also want to share our thoughts and prayers with the family, friends and comrades of [Army] Spc. Gabriel Conde of Loveland, Colorado,” she said. “Specialist Conde was killed in action on April 30th as a result of enemy small-arms fire in Afghanistan.”
Supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
Conde, 22, was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and came under attack in Afghanistan, according to a Defense Department release announcing the death. The incident is under investigation, officials said.
Conde was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, U.S. Army Alaska, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.
“These deaths are a somber reminder of the tremendous risk our servicemen and women take every day to defend our nation at home and abroad,” White said.
(Follow Lisa Ferdinando on Twitter: @FerdinandoDoD)