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R.I.P to the fallen angels of HMLA-169

Discussion in 'The Chow Hall' started by FLYIN, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. FLYIN

    FLYIN Warheads on Foreheads Established Member

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    Yesterday morning in Southern Afghanistan we lost 4 heroes. An AH-1W Cobra and UH-1N Huey collided conducting combat operations in the early morning hours prior to sunrise. The AH-1W crew was killed on impact and one pilot and a crew chief from the UH-1N was killed. The other UH-1N pilot was able to land the damaged aircraft and is now in critical condition with an amputated leg. His ability to land the badly damaged aircraft though was able to allow one surviving crew chief from the collision. I will not say names, because they have not been released to the public. I knew all involved as they replaced our unit in Iraq prior to relocating to Afghanistan last July. Our community is small and we are a family. A loss is felt by everyone. We train together, fight together, and all share our passion for protecting our brothers on the ground. You will not find finer Marines, aviators, and men than those that have passed on. May your service to your country, to the Marine Corps, or your memory ever be forgotton. Semper Fi brothers. Going to miss you at the homecoming in 3 weeks.
    n730095314_5815560_3321.jpg UHSunset.jpg
    HMLA05.jpg [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2009
  2. jerrad

    jerrad RIP Gump Established Member

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    Read about this on yahoo news earlier.
    RIP :(
     
  3. FX4 SAPPER

    FX4 SAPPER Lets Go Cardinals! Established Member

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    A loss is never good, especially when you know them. RIP
     
  4. THE_STIG

    THE_STIG Active Member Established Member

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    I saw this article earlier as well, Rest in Peace Brothers.
     
  5. FLYIN

    FLYIN Warheads on Foreheads Established Member

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    Yea I saw it there last night as well and when I read the location, I knew it was some of our own. Went to work this morning and the CO told us the names. Couldn't sleep last night wondering who it was. Then you get the names and your just like damn. The worst though is thinking about the families and that they were all anticipating them coming home in just under 3 weeks. No matter how many times, it never gets easier. But, you just remember them the last way you saw them and you press on. I still just keep thinking the last time I saw one of them, telling him "hey man take care, I'll see you on the backside." Guess its all part of the business we are in. We all know what's possible, but just never really think about it actually happening.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2009
  6. jerrad

    jerrad RIP Gump Established Member

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    It's a true tragedy. Sucks to see anyone lose their life well before their time.
     
  7. 99navert

    99navert New Member Established Member

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    Its always rough seeing our Brothers in Arms fall... I've had several sleepless nights, going through all the what-ifs, may they all R.I.P.
     
  8. BLOWN PONY

    BLOWN PONY Active Member Established Member

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    May your friends rest in peace.

    One of my best friends is in Afghanistan and basically spends his time jumping from FOB to FOB via choppers. As soon as I heard about this, I wrote him an email to make sure he is OK.

    It's kinda scary for all of us, because he normally writes us everyday and this is going on 3 days with no responce.

    I can honestly say my guts hurt everytime I hear about our guys giving their lives in that shit hole of a place.
     
  9. FLYIN

    FLYIN Warheads on Foreheads Established Member

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    No email probably because of what is called River City. They shut down all outgoing email and phone calls. They don't want names of fallen being leaked before Next of Kin are properly notified. In no less of a tragedy 10 U.S. where lost in Western Afghanistan in a CH-47 crash that day. I only posted this one because it was more personal.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2009
  10. jerrad

    jerrad RIP Gump Established Member

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    Have they told what caused the collision?
     
  11. BLOWN PONY

    BLOWN PONY Active Member Established Member

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    Thanks for the info- A lot of people will be happy to hear about it.

    I really need to find out where in Afghanistan he is serving.
    Code:
    
    
     
  12. FLYIN

    FLYIN Warheads on Foreheads Established Member

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    No details yet, but even if I had them I would not be authorized to disclose. I am sure in a month we will all be given the full report but it is privileged information, not releasable to the public. Based on experience I can think of a lot of things that could lead to it not due to enemy fire. Very task saturated environment, due to numerous factors. The time of morning they were flying is one of the most difficult. That time of twilight where there is too much light for NVG's from a rising sun that is still below the horizon, but still too dark for optimal operation without NVG's. Throw in some weather and reduced visibility and things become very difficult. Very easy to lose sight of the other aircraft. We don't just fly formation tucked in position, we fly in a position to be mutually supportive of each other (i.e. cover each other from other threats). I could draw you a picture all day but its hard to explain in writing. I am not going to make any assumptions though until I hear what exactly went on. All I know is this could have been any of us any day or night even in CONUS for the type of operations and training we do. This was not the first occurrence and surely will not be the last. It is the nature of what we do.
     
  13. jerrad

    jerrad RIP Gump Established Member

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    I figured you wouldn't be allowed to say much.
    I am a safety guy so I always want to get to the root cause of any accident so that it can be avoided in the future. Sounds like other than flying solo you don't really have any options.
     
  14. FLYIN

    FLYIN Warheads on Foreheads Established Member

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    And thats exactly what happens. They have an investigation they publish it. They find causal factors they release it to us in the aviation community so we can try and learn from it. Its always easy to sit there and say the crew failed to do this, this, and this. The only thing you can do is do your best to stay vigalent and do the best you can up there and make good decisions. Until humans are perfect though you will have mishaps. You can only hope to reduce them, by having good procedures in place and training in practicing them. And even solo you would have them, sometimes it is that young guy in the other seat that is the voice of reason that keeps the old salty guy from doing something that turns out bad. I'll say it again it is dangerous what we do and things like this will happen. Considering it all it is amazing to me that it is not a more common occurence. At the same time though, one is too many. It's just difficult though. Guess thats why we get paid the big bucks right.
     
  15. jerrad

    jerrad RIP Gump Established Member

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    You guys and gals definitely earn every penny.
     
  16. FLYIN

    FLYIN Warheads on Foreheads Established Member

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    I spend it all on cars. Thats why I am here at SVTP. I should have direct deposit to Lethal Performance.
     
  17. E

    E 2008 SVTP RPS Champ Established Member

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    this is truly a tragedy. i read about this earlier and it always breaks my heart to see that more have been lost. rip my fallen brothers!!
     
  18. 2003SLVRSNAKE

    2003SLVRSNAKE Active Member Established Member

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    Sad, very sad, RIP
     
  19. BadMoFo

    BadMoFo Get Some! Established Member

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    damn that sucks. I saw on the news where it happened and just assumed it was army (seems to happen to them a lot) and now seeing it was fellow Marines brings it home. then on top of that I work on those birds all the time here at the depot. wonder if it was any we worked on lately.
     
  20. FLYIN

    FLYIN Warheads on Foreheads Established Member

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    Capt. Eric Jones, one of four Marines killed Monday in a helicopter crash, was remembered yesterday by his parents as someone who fought to protect them, even as he fought thousands of miles away to protect the United States. "He never told us anything about his mission," his father, Kenneth, said in a telephone interview from Philadelphia International Airport, a short drive from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, where Jones and his wife traveled to recover their son's body. "He wanted to keep that from us to keep us calm. I watch the news." Jones was just two weeks away from his tour ending, his parents said.
    Living in New York following the attacks on the World Trade Center galvanized his pursuit of a military career, his father said. "He was very passionate about the military and about the Marines," Kenneth Jones said. "He was proud to be a Marine. He was my hero. ... He was a true patriot."

    Jones joined the Marines after graduating in 2004 from Northeastern University, where he was a member of the lacrosse team, his father said. It had been his lifelong dream to be a fighter pilot, he said.

    Though his tour of duty was nearly over, Eric Jones was scheduled to return to Camp Pendleton, Calif., where he was stationed as part of Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169. Jones' girlfriend, who his parents declined to name, had moved to San Diego to be with him.
    "It's just devastating to her," Kenneth Jones said. "It's devastating to us. He was such a great kid." At 6-foot-3, he cast a handsome frame in his dress blue uniform. "He was ripped," his father said. He also was funny and fun to be around, his mother said.
    "He definitely had his father's sense of humor," she said. "He lit up a room."
    And just as he tried to protect his parents from knowing just how much danger he faced, Jones always worked to help others in need. "He went out of his way to help the underdog," Cynthia Jones said.
    Funeral arrangements are incomplete, but both parents said the strength of family and friends has guided them in the past couple days. The support system set up by the Marine Corps has also helped them grieve, they said. "This is a hard one God has given us," Cynthia Jones said, choking back tears. "We can look at Eric and not have any regrets. We're just so proud of him."
    [​IMG]
    Eric will be laid to rest at Massachusetts Veterans' Memorial Cemetery on Saturday Nov 7th. Welcome home brother. You will be missed.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2009

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