Fairchild Airmen Killed in KC-135 Crash in Kyrgyzstan

Three airmen from the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron at Fairchild AFB, Wash., lost their lives in last week’s crash of a KC-135 tanker near Chon-Aryk, Kyrgyzstan, announced Fairchild officials. Killed in the May 3 mishap were: Capt. Victoria A. Pinckney, 27, of Palmdale, Calif.: Capt. Mark T. Voss, 27, of Boerne, Tex.; and TSgt. Herman Mackey III, 30, of Bakersfield, Calif., according to the May 5 release from Fairchild’s 92nd Air Refueling Wing. “We’re a strong family here and it’s truly heart wrenching when members of this family make the ultimate sacrifice for their nation,” said Col. Brian Newberry, wing commander. He added, “These airmen leave behind an incredible legacy of service and honor in protecting our nation and the world. They show what we all know: freedom is not free.” The cause of the mishap is under investigation. The crash occurred shortly after the KC-135 took off from the Transit Center at Manas, which is near Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan. Manas is a major air hub for sustaining coalition operations in Afghanistan. The Fairchild crew and the KC-135 were deployed to Manas. The tanker was assigned to McConnell AFB, Kan., according to a release from that base.