Air Force

November 27, 2013

Additional remains of Air Force pilot found

Maj. Troy Gilbert, an F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot was killed Nov. 27, 2007, in an F-16 crash 30 miles southwest of Balad Air Base, Iraq. Gilbert was the standardization and evaluation chief for the 332nd Expeditionary Operations Group and was deployed from the 309th Fighter Squadron from Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.

Additional remains of an Air Force pilot who died in combat in 2006 in Iraq have been found, service officials announced Nov. 19.

Maj. Troy Gilbert was killed when his F-16C Fighting Falcon crashed 20 miles northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, Nov. 27, 2006, while engaged in support of coalition ground combat operations.

Partial remains were recovered and buried with full honors at a funeral Dec. 11, 2006 at Arlington National Cemetery.

“We have prayed for this for almost seven years, and we’ve never given up hope nor will we ever give up hope,” said Ginger Gilbert-Ravella, former wife of Major Gilbert.  “We have always known finding Troy’s remains would be akin to finding a needle in a haystack or a grain of sand at the beach. Though our deepest desire is that his entire body would be returned to the U.S., we are grateful for this.”

At the family’s request, the Air Force requested a search for additional remains be re-opened, which was approved by the undersecretary of defense. This cleared the way for the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office, or DPMO, to continue searching in cooperation with the Iraqi government.

“I am grateful to the tireless efforts of our nation’s military and its leaders as they have continued to make Troy’s case a priority,” Gilbert-Ravella said.  “We are thankful to those who did the right thing in turning his remains over to the U.S. and ultimately our family.  We are thankful to the men and women who have lost life and limb in pursuit of helping the country of Iraq seek democracy and order.  I believe we can see the fruits of those sacrifices today.”

Then Secretary of Air Force Michael Donley said, “We honor the ultimate sacrifice Major Gilbert made for our nation. His family deserves nothing less than our best effort to recover his remains and return them to his loved ones.”

Additional remains were recovered by DPMO and the Air Force received them in September 2012. They were positively identified by the Armed Forces Medical Examiner as Gilbert’s remains. Those remains will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery along with the remains originally recovered in 2006.

According to the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations Commander Col. John M. Devillier, notification was delayed regarding the remains found in 2012 in hopes that additional remains would be recovered.

When it was determined that additional remains may not be forthcoming, the family was notified, he said. That notification took place on Nov. 15.

According to a vignette in the Air Force’s Portraits in Courage, Gilbert, a 12-year Air Force veteran, had already completed 21 combat sorties in the F-16 supporting ground forces under enemy fire. On one mission, he found and identified anti-Iraqi forces, then passed critical targeting information to Coalition forces, who attacked and eliminated the threat. In another time-sensitive mission, he killed 10 insurgents concealed in a palm grove with the pinpoint delivery of a laser-guided weapon.

“Major Gilbert was a guardian of freedom and justice, who made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of our great nation and the Iraqi people,” said Acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning.  “Continuing the search for our fallen comrade demonstrates our promise to never leave an Airman behind.”

Gilbert, who was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor, deployed in September 2006 from Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., to the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing, Balad Air Base, Iraq. He was assigned as the 332nd Expeditionary Operations Group chief of standardization and evaluation. On the day of the accident, he was flying with the 524th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron.

“We are confident the U.S. military will continue the task at hand to fully recover Troy’s remains,” Gilbert-Ravella said.  “But today is a day to celebrate and remember the promise that was made to leave no one behind on the field of battle.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Senior Airman Grace Lee

2015 NFL Pro Bowl players practice at Luke

Senior Airman Grace Lee Aqib Talib, Denver Broncos cornerback, assigned to Team Carter, signs footballs for fans at Luke. NFL Pro Bowl players came to the Luke Air Force Base football field Jan. 21 to practice and sign autograp...
 
 

Let’s be an all-volunteer force

Well, we made it through the holiday season. Hopefully we have all reset and are ready to rock and roll this year. By now we should be well into fulfilling the New Year’s resolutions that we set in place to improve ourselves. I’m sure you are hitting the gym more or maybe just starting to....
 
 

Stay out of rain; see bigger picture

Supervisors, you build and lead teams to the best of your abilities. You hold an umbrella of protection over your people, but what do you do when one of your members runs into the rain via a bad decision? Do you take your protective umbrella from other members to go cover your solo member? Or...
 

 
Senior Airman
GRACE LEE

Luke 1 takes last Viper ride

Senior AirmanGRACE LEE Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander, returns from his last flight in an F-16 Fighting Falcon Jan. 23 at Luke Air Force Base. Pleus’ last flight symbolizes Luke stepping forward with a ne...
 
 

News Briefs January 30, 2015

VH1 concert VH1 and sponsors supporting the event are hosting a Super Bowl Blitz concert featuring Fall Out Boy and Charli XCX at 5 p.m. today in Hangar 999 as a “Thank you” to those who serve in the U.S. military. Members of the Luke community are invited and the concert is free. Service members...
 
 
Senior Airman 
DEVANTE WILLIAMS

61st AMU assigns first F-35 dedicated crew chiefs

Senior AirmanDEVANTE WILLIAMS Members of the 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit dedicated crew chiefs prepare to recite the Mechanic’s Creed during the recognition ceremony Jan. 23 in Hanger 431 at Luke Air Force Base. Seventeen ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin