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Hurlburt Field hosts 20th Anniversary Memorial Ceremony of Chariot 55

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ty Pilgrim
  • 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

Air Commandos gathered for the 20th Anniversary Memorial Ceremony of Chariot 55 at the Hurlburt Field Air Park, June 10, 2022.

During a nighttime exfiltration mission near Gardez, Afghanistan, Chariot 55, a U.S. Air Force MC-130H Combat Talon II, crashed shortly after takeoff on June 12, 2002.

Three of the 10 crew members on board Chariot 55 lost their lives that fateful day. During the ceremony, members of Hurlburt Field alongside family members of the fallen honored U.S Air Force Tech Sgt. Sean Corlew, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Anissa Shero and U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Peter Tycz.

The guest speaker for the ceremony was U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Adam Schmidt, commander of the 15th Special Operations Squadron. He spoke about the importance of carrying on the legacy of the Airmen who lost their lives in Chariot 55.

“We will remember by pledging to do all we can to honor them and the loved ones they held close,” said Schmidt. “The example Sean and Anissa set in the 15th Special Operations Squadron, and their commitment to excellence, is threaded through every member of the unit ... past, present and future.”

To conclude the ceremony, a wreath was placed in front of the Combat Talon Memorial in honor of the Chariot 55 aircrew.

Schmidt added that it's not the equipment or the capability of an aircraft that makes it unique.

“It’s the talented and dedicated crewmembers that hold themselves to the highest of standards, that never stop striving for excellence, and always find a way to say yes,” Schmidt said. “The crewmembers we lost on Chariot 55 said ‘yes’ to the mission and their sacrifice in service to our nation will not be forgotten.”