Two Airmen ruck-march through DeQuincy

Airmen trekked through DeQuincy Tuesday, Feb. 26 with a police escort on their way to Florida. (Photo by Crystal Nix.)

(Editor’s Note–The Special Tactics Airmen were seen by many passersby when they made their way down Hwy. 12 in DeQuincy on Tuesday, Feb. 26.)

Twenty Special Tactics Airmen rucked from Medina Annex at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas to Hurlburt Field to pay tribute to Staff Sgt. Dylan J. Elchin, a Hookstown native, who was killed in Afghanistan on Nov. 27, 2018, and in honor of the other 19 Special Tactics Airmen who have been killed in action since 9/11.

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, Nov. 27, 2018, while deployed in support of OPERATION Freedom’s Sentinel. U.S. Army Sgt. Jason McClary died later as a result of injuries sustained from the IED.

The Special Tactics Airmen departed Medina Annex on Feb. 22 at 2 a.m. and they are scheduled to arrive at Hurlburt Field, on Saturday, Mar. 4 at 1 p.m.

Special Tactics Airmen begin their training at Medina Annex, together, and become combat ready upon graduation of the Special Tactics Training Squadron at Hurlburt Field, thus the march route mimics the training passage our Airmen endure. The journey takes the Airmen across five states and 830 miles.

Historically, Air Force Special Tactics plans a memorial march when a member is killed in action. This is the 5th Special Tactics Memorial March since 2009 and since it originated as the “Tim Davis Memorial March.” The march was renamed to honor all fallen Special Tactics Airmen in 2011 to the “Special Tactics Memorial March.”

The ruck marchers are composed of 10 teams of two Special Tactics Airmen. These Airmen began the march by rucking the first 4.7 miles together.

To read the rest of this story, please see the print edition of The DeQuincy News.