VIDEO: Two Patrick Air Force Base Pararescuemen Among Seven Killed in Iraq Helicopter Crash

By  //  March 18, 2018

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Master Sgt. William Posch, 36 and Staff Sgt. Carl Enis, 31, are among the seven Airmen killed

ABOVE VIDEO: U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Carl Enis in a video during a disaster preparedness exercise conducted at the Guardian Center in Perry, Georgia. (U.S. Air Force video)

BREVARD COUNTY • PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, FLORIDA – Two Air Force Reserve pararescuemen, Master Sgt. William Posch, 36 and Staff Sgt. Carl Enis, 31, are among the seven Airmen killed in a helicopter crash in Iraq, March 15, 2018.

Both men were assigned to the 308th Rescue Squadron at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. The squadron of elite Guardian Angel Airmen serve as highly trained rescue specialists, on and off the battlefield, providing life-saving trauma care and search and rescue as part of the 920th Rescue Wing – one of the most deployed units in the Air Force Reserve.

Also lost are: Captain Mark K. Weber, 29, of Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was assigned to the 38th Rescue Squadron at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. Captain Andreas B. O’Keeffe, 37, of Center Moriches, New York; Captain Christopher T. Zanetis, 37, of Long Island City, New York; Master Sergeant Christopher J. Raguso, 39, of Commack, New York; Staff Sergeant Dashan J. Briggs, 30, of Port Jefferson Station, New York. All four were assigned to the 106th Rescue Wing at the Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base, New York.

“It is with a heavy heart that I send you this message,” said Col. Kurt Matthews, 920th Rescue Wing commander, in an email Friday morning announcing the loss to his wing of approximately 2,000 Reserve Citizen Airmen. “I am asking that the 920th Rescue Wing take an operational pause in honor of our lost brothers.”

Pararescueman then Tech. Sgt. William Posch assigned to the 920th Rescue Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., earned the 2013 Air Force Noncommissioned Officer of the Year Award. Throughout the year Posch went above and beyond the call of duty, he was credited with more than 140 combat rescues additionally he led the evacuation of 126 Americans from the U.S. Embassy in Juba during a violent Southern Sudan uprising. Posch also planned and executed upgrade training for 18 fellow PJs 90 days ahead of schedule. (Courtesy photo)

The men died while traveling in an HH-60G Pave Hawk Helicopter when it crashed. All personnel aboard were killed in the crash. The crash did not appear to be a result of enemy activity; however, the cause of the accident is under investigation.

An accompanying U.S. helicopter immediately reported the crash and a quick reaction force comprised of Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition members secured the scene.

Enis and Posch were both serving in combat roles like they have on multiple overseas deployments during their Air Force careers.

Lt. Gen. Maryanne Miller, chief of Air Force Reserve, presented Master Sgt. William Posch, 308th Rescue Squadron, with her commander’s coin for her appreciation of his diligence and dedication over the last month in response to the back-to-back hurricanes. Posch and his teammates rescued 235 people, 21 dogs and five cats during Hurricane Harvey in Texas before returning home to Florida a few days later to evacuate their families and wing assets in preparation for Hurricane Irma. The 308th RQS is part of the 920th Rescue Wing at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice)

Posch, an Indialantic, Florida, resident, was part of a long-range rescue mission at sea to save two German sailors whose sailboat caught fire and sunk in July 2017. A month later, he assisted on many rescues in Texas during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

He had 18 years of service, the last ten of which were with the 920th Rescue Wing. Among his decorations were the Air Medal with silver oak leaf cluster; an Aerial Achievement Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal with Valor.

Air Force Reserve Pararescuemen Staff Sgt. Carl Enis, 31, was among the seven Airmen killed in a helicopter crash in Iraq, March 15, 2018. He was assigned to the 308th Rescue Squadron at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. The squadron of elite Guardian Angel Airmen serve as highly specialized rescue specialists on the battlefield providing life-saving trauma care and search and rescue as part of the 920th Rescue Wing – one of the most deployed units in the Air Force Reserve. The 308th RQS is part of the 920th Rescue Wing. (Courtesy photo)

Enis was a Tallahassee, Florida, resident who joined the unit in 2010 and served for 8 years. Among his decorations are the Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal with bronze oak leaf cluster; the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.

Currently, the flag is being flown at half-staff on Patrick Air Force Base in remembrance of the fallen Airmen.

“No words can heal the pain from the loss of these true American heroes,” said Matthews. “You can be proud knowing that MSgt. Posch and SSgt. Enis gave their last full measure performing their mission and serving our most noble Pararescue creed: ‘These things we do, that others may live’.

“Our deepest sympathy goes out to their families. In the face of this tragedy, we will honor their service and sacrifice and join their loved ones in mourning the immense void left behind by the loss of these great men – our rescue brothers.”

Rescue Aircrews Practice Open Water Survival Techniques In Brevard County’s Banana RiverRelated Story:
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Master Sgt. William Posch, 308th Rescue Squadron pararescueman, works his way through the Alpha Warrior Course April 22, 2017 set up at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. American Ninja Warrior stars Barclay Stockett and Brent Steffensen hosted the event which included a variety of obstacles to test competitors’ upper body strength and agility. Close to 40 people stepped up to the challenge while a crowd of spectators cheered them on. (U.S. Air Force photo/Phillip Sunkel)

Staff Sgt. Carl Enis, 31, was among the seven Airmen killed in a helicopter crash in Iraq, March 15, 2018. He was assigned to the 308th Rescue Squadron at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. Enis was a Tallahassee, Florida, resident who joined the unit in 2010 and served for 8 years. Among his decorations are the Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal with bronze oak leaf cluster; the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. The 308th RQS is part of the 920th Rescue Wing. (Courtesy photo)

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