EGLIN AFB — A solemn milestone will be noticed Friday morning at Eglin Air Power Base as airmen, relatives customers and other friends assemble to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia.
The Hezbollah terrorist truck-bomb blast on June 25, 1996, outdoors Khobar Towers, on the grounds of the King Abdulaziz Air Base, injured hundreds of armed service personnel in the complex and claimed the lives of 19 Air Power staff, including 12 airmen from the Eglin-headquartered 33rd Fighter Wing.
The airmen had been part of a a lot larger contingent of U.S. Air Power and spouse-country military personnel living in the Khobar Towers complex as they supported Operation Southern Check out. The operation bundled the enforcement of a no-fly zone in excess of southern Iraq to maintain then-Iraqi President Saddam Hussein from repressing Shi’ite Muslims and others in southern Iraq and possibly pushing into neighboring Kuwait.
Friday’s 9 a.m. ceremony will consist of displays from what the 33rd FW’s community affairs place of work is contacting “unique visitors” with near connections to the wing. As in yrs previous, the ceremony will be performed at the Khobar Towers Memorial at Eglin, wherever the names of the victims are inscribed and an eternal flame burns in memory of the fallen airmen.
The ceremony will be livestreamed on Facebook for the common public at https://www.facebook.com/33rdfighterwinglive.
‘A cross-portion of the wing’
The Eglin airmen who died in the attack were being Staff Sgt. Daniel B. Cafourek of Watertown, South Dakota Sgt. Millard D. Campbell of Angelton, Texas Senior Airman Earl F. Cartrette Jr. of Sellersburg, Indiana Tech Sgt. Patrick P. Fennig of Greendale, Wisconsin Grasp Sgt. Kendall Kitson of Yukon, Oklahoma Airman 1st Course Brian W. McVeigh of Debary, Florida Airman 1st Class Brent E. Marthaler of Cambridge, Minnesota Airman 1st Class Peter J. Morgera of Stratham, New Hampshire Tech. Sgt. Thanh V. Nguyen of Panama Town, Florida Airman 1st Course Joseph E. Rimkus of Edwardsville, Illinois, Senior Airman Jeremy A. Taylor of Rosehill, Kansas and Airman 1st Class Joshua E. Woody of Corning, California.
The 12 airmen came from the wing’s 58th Fighter Squadron, 60th Fighter Squadron, 33rd Logistics Group, 33rd Maintenance Squadron and 33rd Operations Help Squadron.
From 2016: ‘I knew your father’:People, survivors and neighborhood don’t forget Khobar Towers bombing
“They represented a cross-section of the wing as crew chiefs, expeditors, weapons loaders, mechanics, creation superintendents, plan professionals and professionals,” according to an Eglin account of the incident.
Sadly, users of the 58th Fighter Squadron experienced been scheduled to go away Saudi Arabia on June 27, and already experienced been packing up to go residence when the bombing transpired.
5 of the victims ended up stationed at Patrick Air Force Base near Cocoa Seaside, Florida. They had been Capt. Christopher J. Adams of Massapequa Park, New York Capt. Leland T. Haun of Clovis, California Master Sgt. Michael G. Heiser of Palm Coast, Florida Team Sgt. Kevin J. Johnson of Shreveport, Louisiana and Airman 1st Course Justin R. Wood of Modesto, California.
Other airmen killed in the blast were Staff Sgt. Ronald L. King of Battle Creek, Michigan, stationed at Nebraska’s Offutt Air Force Base and Airman 1st Class Christopher Lester of Pineville, West Virginia, stationed at Ohio’s Wright-Patterson Air Pressure Foundation.
Clinton: ‘May they rest in peace’
In addition to getting memorialized at Eglin’s memorial, the 19 airmen dropped in the 1996 blast are remembered on the web page of the Heiser Basis. The nonprofit firm was founded by Heiser’s parents to bear in mind others who have suffered tragic losses, to guide all those searching for even further instructional options and to support other nonprofit businesses with very similar missions.
As just a few examples of how the dropped Eglin airmen are remembered, the Heiser Foundation internet site remembers Cafourek as a “consummate skilled, indisputably identified as the squadron’s best crew chief” remembers that Cartrette “drew clown cartoon people on the squadron bulletin board to express mild-hearted messages to the squadron” and notes that Rimkus “always wore a tie when he went to go to his grandma mainly because she liked to see him in a tie.”
Just times just after the tragedy, then-President Invoice Clinton arrived to Eglin to pay a visit to survivors of the assault and to remember the fallen airmen.
“Let us now praise these silent American heroes who gave their life in services to The united states. May well they rest in peace and may well their names stay on for good,” Clinton reported during remarks shipped at the base.