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Special Tactics Memorial Ruck March to honor Albuquerque native

Special Tactics Memorial Ruck March to honor Albuquerque native

Story by A1C Austin Prisbrey on 03/01/2019

Twenty Special Tactics Airmen are rucking 830 miles from Medina Annex, Joint-Base San Antonio, Texas Feb. 22 to March 4, 2019 to Hurlburt Field, Florida, to pay tribute to 20 Air Force Special Tactics Airmen who have been killed in action since 9/11.

An Albuquerque, New Mexico native, U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Scott Duffman, Special Tactics Pararescueman, is one of 20 Airmen killed in action since 9/11 being honored during the memorial march. Duffman was killed Feb. 18, 2007, when the U.S. Army MH-47 Chinook he was flying in experienced a sudden loss of power and crashed in eastern Afghanistan.

Special Tactics Airmen begin training at the Medina Annex together and become combat ready upon graduation of the Special Tactics Training Squadron at Hurlburt Field thus mimicking the training passage Special Tactics Airmen endure.

Those participating in the ruck march are in 10 two-man teams and began the march by rucking the first 4.7 miles together.

Each team is averaging 12 miles before alternating teams. Each day the teams are rucking a combined 70 miles to complete the 830-mile journey over 11 days.

Historically, Air Force Special Tactics holds a memorial march when a member is killed in action. This is the fifth special tactics memorial march since it originated as the Tim Davis Memorial March in 2009. The march was renamed to honor all fallen Special Tactics Airmen in 2011 to the Special Tactics Memorial March.

This march was held to honor Staff Sgt. Dylan J. Elchin, who was killed in Afghanistan on November 27, 2018.

Elchin, a Special Tactics Combat Controller assigned to the 26th Special Tactics Squadron, Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, along with U.S. Army Capt. Andrew Ross and U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Eric Emond, were killed in action when their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan, November 27, 2018, while deployed in support of OPERATION Freedom’s Sentinel.

Memorial batons inscribed with each of the fallen Special Tactics Airmen’s names are being carried throughout the memorial march to honor the following who have fallen:

Master Sgt. William McDaniel of Greenville, Ohio, Special Tactics Pararescueman, Feb. 22, 2002

Staff Sgt. Juan Ridout of Oak Harbor, Washington, Special Tactics Pararescueman, Feb. 22, 2002

Master Sgt. John Chapman of Windsor Locks, Connecticut, Special Tactics Combat Controller, March 4, 2002

Senior Airman Jason Cunningham of Camarillo, California, Special Tactics Pararescueman, March 4, 2002

Staff Sgt. Scott Sather of Clio, Michigan, Special Tactics Combat Controller, April 8, 2003

Capt. Derek Argel of Lompoc, California, Special Tactics Officer, May 30, 2005

Capt. Jeremy Fresques of Clarksdale, Arizona, Special Tactics Officer, May 30, 2005

Staff Sgt. Casey Crate of Spanaway, Washington, Special Tactics Combat Controller, May 30, 2005

Senior Airman Adam Servais of Onalaska, Wisconsin, Special Tactics Combat Controller, Aug. 19, 2006

Tech. Sgt. Scott Duffman of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Special Tactics Pararescueman, Feb. 18, 2007

Tech. Sgt. William Jefferson of Norfolk, Virginia, Special Tactics Combat Controller, March 22, 2008

Staff Sgt. Timothy Davis of Aberdeen, Washington, Special Tactics Combat Controller, Feb. 20, 2009

Senior Airman Daniel Sanchez of El Paso, Texas, Special Tactics Combat Controller, Sep. 16, 2010

Senior Airman Mark Forester of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Special Tactics Combat Controller, Sep. 29, 2010

Tech. Sgt. John Brown of Tallahassee, Florida, Special Tactics Pararescueman, Aug. 6, 2011

Tech. Sgt. Daniel Zerbe of York, Pennsylvania, Special Tactics Pararescueman, Aug. 6, 2011

Staff Sgt. Andrew Harvell of Long Beach, California, Special Tactics Combat Controller, Aug. 6, 2011

Capt. Matthew Roland of Lexington, Kentucky, Special Tactics Officer, Aug. 26, 2015

Staff Sgt. Forrest Sibley of Pensacola, Florida Special Tactics Combat Controller, Aug. 26, 2015

Staff Sgt. Dylan Elchin of Hookstown, Pennsylvania, Special Tactics Combat Controller, Nov. 27, 2018

Today there are about 1,000 Special Tactics Operators who combine the core skills of special operations forces with the tactical integration of the world’s greatest airpower, working to find unique solutions to ground problems. They are the most decorated community in the Air Force since the end of the Vietnam War, with one Medal of Honor, 10 Air Force Crosses and 44 Silver Stars.

Special Tactics is U.S. Special Operation Command’s tactical air and ground integration force, and the Air Force’s special operations ground force, leading global access, precision strike, personnel recovery and battlefield surgery operations on the battlefield.

A disciplined special operations force of hand-selected Airmen leading joint operations, Special Tactics Airmen are deliberate in their thoughts and actions to deliver solutions to the nation’s most complex military challenges. They conduct global air, space, and cyber-enabled special operations across the spectrum of conflict to prepare for, fight and win their nation’s wars.

For live updates and to track the Special Tactics Memorial March, please go to http://raceday.me/v/75ea11.

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