Team Edwards say goodbye to one of its own

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A memorial service for Staff Sgt. Adam Erickson was held at Chapel 1 on Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Sept. 20, 2019. (Air Force photograph by Christopher Dye)

A memorial service for Staff Sgt. Adam Erickson was held at Chapel 1 at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Sept. 20, 2019.

Erickson passed away, Sept. 10, during a training exercise. Erickson served with the 412th Operations Support Squadron as the noncommissioned officer-in-charge of Parachutist Program Operations. He was a Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) specialist, and certified as both a master parachutist and test parachutist. Erickson had been deployed twice, to Qatar in 2016 and to Romania earlier this year.

The service was attended by members of Erickson’s family and base personnel. Master Sgt. Brandon Fountain, SERE/Test Parachute Program superintendent, shared a few insights and funny anecdotes about his time with the unit.

“We’ve cried a lot for Adam, but I can promise you that most of those tears had been from laughing, either with him or at him,” Fountain said.

Fountain lauded Erickson’s leadership and willingness to step up to higher levels of responsibility.

Col. Timothy Spaulding, 412th Operations Group Commander, presents Staff Sgt. Adam Erickson’s Meritorious Service Medal to his mother, Karen, during a memorial service in honor of Erickson at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Sept. 20, 2019. Erickson passed away, Sept. 10, during a training exercise. Erickson served with the 412th Operations Support Squadron as the noncommissioned officer-in-charge of Parachutist Program Operations. (Air Force photograph by Giancarlo Casem)

“He progressed into a phenomenal jumpmaster,” Fountain said. “Four weeks ago, he earned his master parachutist rating, a coveted achievement amongst the DoD (Department of Defense) Airborne community.”

Fountain added that two dropped zones on Edwards will be dedicated in his honor, one of which will be called Rick Drop Zone; “Rick” was one of his nicknames, Fountain said.

Fountain closed his tribute by thanking the Erickson family on behalf of his military family.

“Our family wants to thank you for making him the wonderful, loving, smart, funny, and ridiculous perfect man that he was,” Fountain said. “Saying Adam will be missed is a massive understatement, he very clearly enhanced every life that he touched.”

During the memorial service, Erickson was posthumously awarded a Meritorious Service Medal, which was then presented to his mother, Karen. He is survived by his parents, girlfriend, siblings, niece and nephews and aunts, uncles and cousins.
 

Master Sgt. Brandon Fountain, SERE/Test Parachute Program superintendent, shares his memories of Staff Sgt. Adam Erickson during a during a memorial service in honor of Staff Sgt. Erickson at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Sept. 20, 2019. (Air Force photograph by Giancarlo Casem)