The Pentagon on Saturday identified two airmen who perished in the April 8 crash of a USAF CV-22 Osprey that claimed the lives of a US soldier and a civilian employee and injured others on board. The airmen were Maj. Randell D. Voas, 43, of Lakeville, Minn., and SMSgt. James B. Lackey, 45, of Green Clove Springs, Fla., both members of the 8th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Fla. According to a 1st Special Operations Wing release, Voas was a CV-22 evaluator pilot and a former MH-53 pilot who traded Army green for Air Force blue in 1999. Lackey was a CV-22 evaluator flight engineer and 14-year veteran MH-53 flight engineer, who entered the Air Force in 1986. Members of the 8th SOS had been deployed to Afghanistan since March; it was the second Southwest Asia tour for the unit with its new Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft. (Also see Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune report; Panama City News-Herald report)
In a nighttime ceremony contrived to continue concealment of many of its features, the new B-21 bomber rolled out of Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, Calif. plant Dec. 2. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the aircraft's advanced technology represents "deterrence, the American way."