DOWNSIDE LEGACY AT TWO DEGREES OF PRESIDENT CLINTON
SECTION: REMEMBERING THE DEAD
SUBSECTION: ON DUTY
LINE OF DUTY
RON BROWN PLANE CRASH
DEATHS - LINE OF DUTY
Lt. Col. Keith M. Sweaney, 42, of Richmond, Va.
Maj. Michael L. Murphy, 38, of Blauvelt, N.Y
Staff Sgt. Avely W. Runnels, 25, of Morven, Ga
Sgt. Jason A. Buyck, 24, of Sodus, N.Y.
Yahoo News via Reuters 11/12/00 "…..Two U.S. F-16 fighter jets collided in mid-air over the Sea of Japan on Monday during a joint military exercise with Japan, a Japanese coastguard spokesman said. It was not immediately known how many people were involved in the accident off Japan's northern island of Hokkaido. The Japanese coastguard said it sent three patrol boats and three aircraft to the scene, about 438 miles north of Tokyo. Japan and the United States began the joint military exercises on November 2, their first in line with the adoption of new security arrangements last year. ….."
The News Observer 12/16/00 Jerry Allegood ".....In the front of the small, military chapel stood a pair of worn, knee-high boots, a silent reminder of a routine training mission turned tragic. Behind the boots, displayed on a table, were photographs of the owner of the boots and photographs of his three fellow Marines, along with new flight helmets, new flight suits and American flags -- all part of a memorial set up Friday to honor four who died when their experimental Osprey aircraft crashed and burned in an Onslow County swamp. ...... Killed in the crash Monday night were Lt. Col. Keith M. Sweaney, 42, of Richmond, Va.; Maj. Michael L. Murphy, 38, of Blauvelt, N.Y.; Staff Sgt. Avely W. Runnels, 25, of Morven, Ga.; and Sgt. Jason A. Buyck, 24, of Sodus, N.Y. ....... The well-used boots belonged to Runnels. Friends said he was a country boy who liked to hunt, fish and drive a four-wheel-drive vehicle. He wore the boots, usually muddy, with anything he wore when he was not in a Marine uniform. ...... The four were described as the cream of the crop who were ushering the new tilt-rotor aircraft into the Marine Corps arsenal. ....... Sweaney, the pilot, was in line to command the first squadron of Ospreys. Murphy, the co-pilot, had spent three years on the helicopter crew that ferried the U.S. president to and from the White House. ....."
Nando Times 12/12/00 AP ".....An MV-22 Osprey crashed Monday evening in a densely wooded area north of Jacksonville, N.C., the Marines confirmed in a statement. Four crew members were aboard the tiltrotor aircraft with no passengers when it crashed during a routine night training mission, according to the Marines. The Air Station New River was not releasing details of injuries or fatalities. Forestry officials, who had to use a bulldozer to knock down trees on their way, didn't reach the site until after 11 p.m, according to the Jacksonville Daily News. ....."
Feb. 9, 1992
A Kentucky Air National Guard C-130 transport plane slams into a motel and restaurant in Evansville, Ind. Five crew members and 11 people on the ground are killed. The Associated Press 4/9/00
July 20, 1992
An experimental V-22 tiltrotor Osprey plunges into the Potomac River while trying to land at the Marine Air Station at Quantico, Va., killing three Marines and four civilians. The Pentagon finds a combination of a flash fire, engine failure and a failed drive shaft are to blame. The Associated Press 4/9/00
Oct. 30, 1992
An Air Force helicopter plunges into the Great Salt Lake, killing 12 people and injuring one. Everyone on board the MH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter was from Hill Air Force Base in Utah. The Associated Press 4/9/00
Dec. 1, 1992
Two military cargo jets collide near Harlem, Mont., after refueling during a training flight and crash, killing all 13 aboard. The Associated Press 4/9/00
March 23, 1994
An F-16 fighter jet collides with a C-130 transport at Pope Air Force Base, N.C., killing 23 paratroopers. The Associated Press 4/9/00
April 17, 1995
Eight people were killed when an Air Force C-21 Learjet crashed into a wooded area near Alexander City, Ala
Sept. 22, 1995
An Airborne Warning and Control System plane carrying 24 military personnel crashes and burns on takeoff, killing everyone aboard, at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. The Associated Press 4/9/00
Nov. 8, 1995
An Air Force plane carrying sergeants and their families to a party crashes into a mountain during a rainstorm near Bueno Aires, Argentina. All 53 aboard are killed. The Associated Press 4/9/00
April 3, 1996
An Air Force jet carrying Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and other civilians crashes into a mountain in Croatia, killing all 35 aboard, including the crew. The Associated Press 4/9/00
June 18, 1996
Two Army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters collide near Fort Campbell, Ky., just before the soldiers are to descend to a mockup of a downed helicopter and ``rescue'' soldiers pretending to be injured. Six people are killed and 30 injured. The Associated Press 4/9/00
Nov. 22 1996
Ten Oregon-based crewman are killed when all four engines fail on an HC-130P cargo plane. The Air Force plane was on a training mission over the Pacific about 40 miles off the coast of Cape Mendocino, Calif. The Associated Press 4/9/00
Sept. 3, 1998
Two helicopters from Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., collide in a remote mountain range near Area 51, killing 12 crewmen. The helicopters, from the 66th Rescue Squadron, were practicing rescues. The Associated Press 4/9/00
Dec. 9, 1999
A CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter on a training flight crashes 15 miles off the San Diego shore, killing seven Marines from Miramar Naval Air Station. The Associated Press 4/9/00
April 9, 2000
A Marine MV-22 tiltrotor Osprey crashes at the Marana Northwest Regional Airport about 15 miles northwest of Tucson during a training exercise, killing 19 Marines aboard. The Associated Press 4/9/00
A Navy jet crashed this morning during a training exercise at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, killing both people aboard
Fox News 8/24/00 AP "……A 31-year-old diplomatic courier, carrying classified information in yellow pouches, died in the Gulf Air crash that killed all 143 passengers and crew members, the State Department said Thursday. The courier, Seth J. Foti, joined the service 14 months ago and was based in Manama, Bahrain, for a little more than a year, spokesman Richard Boucher said. "His dedication to the mission of the courier service was unmatched, and he was clearly an asset to the Department of State and the U.S. government,'' Boucher said. "…. Three U.S. military helicopters and 10 small ships are assisting in salvage efforts, which include attempts to recover the pouches. ……Six U.S. diplomatic couriers have died in crashes, the last in 1963. No other Americans were aboard the flight, Boucher said. ……."
2 in Navy training incident
Associated Press 7/11/00"…… A Navy jet crashed this morning during a training exercise at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, killing both people aboard. The twin-engine T-38A Talon jet trainer crashed about 9:40 a.m. while approaching a runway, according to a news release issued by the base about 40 miles southeast of Washington. Base spokesman John Romer said that the crash site was on base property but that he didn't know how far away it was from a runway……… "
AFNS 4/17/95 "…….Eight people were killed when an Air Force C-21 Learjet crashed into a wooded area near Alexander City, Ala., about 6:30 p.m. CST April 17. The aircraft, assigned to the 332nd Airlift Flight, Randolph AFB, Texas, was flying from Andrews AFB, Md., to Randolph, but was diverting to Alexander City Airport, Ala. -- 35 miles northeast of Maxwell AFB, Ala. -- after experiencing an in-flight emergency. …….Among the dead were Clark G. Fiester, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, and his military assistant, Col. Jack Clark II; Maj. Gen. Glenn A Profitt II, director of plans and operations, Air Education and Training Command, Randolph AFB, Texas; Maj. Hubert B. Fisher, who was assigned to the Pentagon; Capt. Paul Carey, instructor pilot; and 1st Lt. Paul M. Bowers, aircraft commander. ……Also killed were retired Air Force Maj. James K. Horne; and a U.S. Army sergeant, both space available passengers. Army officials have not released the soldier's name pending notification of next of kin. ……As assistant secretary for acquisition, Fiester was responsible for Air Force research, development and acquisition activities. An experienced manager of electronic defense system organization, he had 38 years' experience in design and development of advanced intelligence, electronic countermeasures and imagery systems. ………..Profitt, a command pilot with more than 6,000 flying hours, began his Air Force career in 1965. He was responsible for developing and implementing operational plans, programs and policies for AETC undergraduate flying training, EURO-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training, survival training and combat crew training for fighters, airlift, tankers, and special operations crews. ......"
19 Marines in Osprey
US Defense.com 4/17/00 "……. The Marine Corps said over the weekend that it had received Federal Aviation Administration approval to fly "lights out" during last weekend's training exercises in Arizona, in which one of the service's new MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft crashed. However, FAA officials say the did not receive the required paperwork requesting the lights-out exercise, which involved all four of the Corps' MV-22s. Nineteen people were killed in the Marana, Ariz. Marana Northwest Regional Airport crash, located about 30 miles northwest of Tucson, including 15 Marines. Investigators are still looking into why one MV-22 went "nose down" about 200 feet off the ground as it was landing with another Osprey. Pilots, reports said, had landing lights off because troops and fliers were using night vision goggles as part of the nighttime training mission. ……"
AP/Washington Post 4/16/00 "……In a statement that conflicts with findings by the Federal Aviation Administration, the military said it had approval to fly aircraft without lights during a nighttime exercise that ended with the deaths of 19 Marines. There is no indication that a lack of lights contributed to the April 8 crash of an MV-22 Osprey in Marana, about 30 miles northwest of Tucson. Investigators have not determined the cause. During the exercise, two Ospreys, tilt-rotor aircraft that can take off and land like a helicopter and fly like an airplane, flew over the Marana Northwest Regional Airport while two others flew several miles away……"
CNN 4/9/00 "……..Four of the 19 troops who died in the weekend crash of a U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey aircraft were assigned to the unit that operates the helicopter called Marine One, used for short trips by President Clinton and past U.S. presidents, the White House said. Some of the four were pilots, said White House spokesman Joe Lockhart. Pentagon officials said it was unlikely they had ever piloted Marine One, although the Pentagon could not rule out that possibility. The squadron, called Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1), is based in Quantico, Virginia. An investigation into the cause of the training mission crash began Sunday. ……"www.drudgereport.com 4/9/00 "……Investigators on Sunday scoured a small Arizona airport outside Tucson trying to determine why one of the Pentagon's futuristic MV-22 Osprey aircraft crashed, killing19 Marines, four of whom were assigned to the squadron that operates the presidential helicopter. …… Four of the victims -- two pilots and two co-pilots -- were assigned to Helicopter Squadron One in Quantico, Va., The squadron operates Marine One, the helicopter used by the president. White House spokesman Joe Lockhart said it was unlikely any of the Marines aboard the Osprey were Marine One crewmen. ……"
New York Post 4/10/00 Devlin Barrett "…… The crew was based in Quantico, Va., and the passengers were from the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines at Camp Pendleton, Calif., and one from Marine Corps Air Station-Miramar in San Diego County, according to the Marine Corps……… "
AP 4/9/00 Arthur Rotstein "…….A Marine Corps aircraft crashed while landing at an airport west of Tucson Saturday night and was engulfed in flames, killing 19 people on board, authorities said. The plane went down with four crew members and 15 passengers aboard, said Gunnery Sgt. Nathan Portman of the Marine Corps Air Station at Yuma, where the flight originated, about 240 miles away. All the victims were Marines, but officials said they did not know where they had been based. The aircraft was not based at the Yuma air station. ……… ".
LewRockwell.com/WND 4/13/00 Lew Rockwell "……The much-heralded MV-22 Osprey, the tax-funded flying gadget costing hundreds of millions to develop, is the latest product of the military-industrial complex to go down in flames. The tragedy is that, when it happened, 19 innocent Marines were aboard. Surviving family members now report that the soldiers were terrified to fly this contraption, knowing full well that it was designed more for public-relations than military purposes. Indeed, the circumstances surrounding the crash suggest that the military takes as casual an attitude toward the lives of its own troops as it does of foreigners. "They killed him," is the way Christina Mercier of Grand Ronde, Ore., accurately described the death of her 24-year-old son in the Osprey. "They wanted him to be a guinea pig for these new airplanes." Think about her comments before you let your son or daughter enlist. …….. "
Washington Post 5/8/00 Thomas Ricks "……The V-22 Osprey crash that killed 19 Marines last month occurred when unexpected turbulence caused the rotor on one side of the novel aircraft to lose lift, which tilted the plane dangerously to the right and quickly threw it into a fatal descent..."
ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE 10/13/00 Sandy Davis "….. A military court hearing is scheduled for Monday for Capt. Darron A. Haughn, a pilot from Little Rock Air Force Base charged with negligent homicide and dereliction of duty for his role in an aborted crash landing last year in Kuwait…….. Haughn, who is with the 61st Airlift Squadron, is accused in the deaths of three people who died after he aborted a C-130 cargo airplane landing at a Kuwaiti military base Dec. 10, 1999……. An Air Force Accident Investigative Board blasted Haughn in March when it released its findings………. "I found clear and convincing evidence that this mishap was caused by the crew's failure to follow governing directives and the crew's complacency in performing flight operations," said Col. Frank Laras, head of the board……. Laras said Haughn showed a lack of "leadership and discipline" during the flight, and the crew showed a "lack of support" when the aircraft was on its final approach to Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base in Kuwait……… "
ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE 10/13/00 Sandy Davis "….. The accident occurred when Haughn became "disoriented," the investigation found, during a 10-minute flight on which he was ferrying 86 passengers the 23 miles from Kuwait City International Airport to Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base southwest of Kuwait City. The passengers were U.S. military personnel who had just arrived in the area. According to the accident investigation report, Haughn failed to follow directives when he elected to land using a visual approach and selected a runway that he was told not to use……… The airplane flew through a fog bank, slammed into the ground 2,890 feet short of the runway and bounced back into the air. Flying at 10-15 feet above the ground, it struck an antenna system about 1,000 feet from where it first touched down....... As the plane began to climb, the landing gear fell off, leaving gaping holes on both sides of the fuselage. Haughn flew the disabled plane to the Persian Gulf, where he dumped excess fuel and then made an uneventful emergency landing on a foam-covered runway at Kuwait City International Airport………"
Maj General Kenneth W Himsel
Anchorage Daily News index 11/14/92 Edition/Page:Final/B1 "……Maj. Gen. Kenneth W. Himsel, an Indiana National Guardsman killed in a military plane crash near Juneau, was remembered Friday as a dedicated serviceman, businessman and father. "He was a hero, in my opinion," said Ron Himsel….."
Anchorage Daily News index 8/26/93 Edition/Page:Final/B1 "……The Alaska National Guard released an investigation report Wednesday that blames pilot error for a plane crash near Juneau in November that killed eight Guardsmen, including two generals... "
Anchorage Daily News index 11/17/93 Edition/Page:Final/D1 "…..President Clinton has signed a bill that will grant an extra $100,000 death benefit to each of the surviving families of seven Alaska Army National Guardsmen killed in a plane crash one year ago.... "
Anchorage Daily News index 8/27/93 Edition/Page:Final/B1 "…..The widow of one of the eight Army National Guardsmen killed in a November plane crash said Thursday that dissatisfaction with the official accident probe has led her to hire her own investigators to look into the incident... "
Anchorage Daily News index 11/19/92 Edition/Page:Final/B1 "…….. Until Wednesday, facts and figures were the focus of attention surrounding the airplane crash that killed eight Army National Guardsmen last week. Wednesday afternoon, however, a memorial ceremony at the Alaska National Guard armo... "
Anchorage Daily News index 11/16/92 Edition/Page:Final/B1 "……The bodies of eight Army National Guardsmen were recovered from a mountainside crash site Sunday afternoon while officials planned a memorial service for the victims. The Guardsmen, including one of Alaska's top military officers...
Anchorage Daily News index "……CORRECTION In Saturday's paper, a front-page story incorrectly reported how long Stephen James Young had been employed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Young, who died in an airplane crash near Fairbanks on Thursday,...
Anchorage Daily News index 11/14/92 Edition/Page:Final/B13 "…… THE STATE mourns the loss of eight men whose lives nobly embodied all that is meant by duty, honor, country..... They died Thursday morning in the crash of a twin-engined National Guard airplane against a moun... "
5 Navy Aviators
wordarchive.com 1999 Dan Jacobson "....On March 12, 1993, President Clinton visited the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, at Norfolk, Virginia.....On March 25, 1993, just thirteen days after Clinton's visit, tragedy struck the Roosevelt when five naval aviators, Lt. Cmdr. Jon A. Rystrom, Lt. William R. Dyer, Lt. Robert A. Forwalder, Lt. Patrick J. Ardaiz, and Lt. John A. Messier, went down in the Ionian Sea in an E-2C Hawkeye radar plane. The plane had been monitoring nightly drops of humanitarian aid to Muslims in eastern Bosnia, and was returning to the Roosevelt. As the plane approached the carrier, it was waved off because of a fouled flight deck; the crew circled into a holding pattern, and the plane disappeared about a mile from the carrier. There was never any distress call, and the cause for the crash was never determined. Bill Clinton expressed his "deep concern over the accident," mentioned his recent trip to the Roosevelt, and complimented in a general way the sailors and marines aboard the ship. He did not mention that the particular naval aviators that had died had been part of a special squadron chosen to personally escort the President when he boarded the ship....."
C-130 Jackson Hole
wordarchive.com Dan Jacobson 1/1/99 "…… On August 17, 1996, only four months after the death of Ron Brown, there was a fatal crash of yet another plane carrying associates of Bill Clinton. This time it was an Air Force C-130 transport plane that went down near Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where President Clinton had been vacationing. Clinton had left by helicopter to return to the White House just hours before the crash. Besides 8 crew members, the plane was carrying a communications van, many pieces of luggage, and secret service agent Aldo Franscoia. It was on it's way to JFK international airport in New York, where Clinton was going the next morning to celebrate his 50th birthday. Only minutes after taking off, the plane flew into a mountain about nine miles east of Jackson Hole. Aldo Franscoia and all 8 crew members were killed. An Air Force investigation into the crash concluded with the statement that "crew error" was the official cause. There findings could only be a guess: "The crew failed to monitor the aircraft's position and flight path relative to high terrain ... Radar information...was not correctly interpreted." The morning after the accident, at a brief press conference at the White House before Clinton left for New York, he said that he and Hillary were "very sad and shocked" about the crash "because they worked for (him)." He also said during that brief conference that he "was told that they thought the pilot had turned around to come back to the airport." It is not known who told Clinton this, but nobody has ever been found that has thought the plane had turned around. It had not. According to the Air Force investigation, the crew never knew anything was wrong….."
Freeper archy "…..The C130 that hit Sheep Mountain in Wyoming on 18 August 1996 was from Dyess Air Force Base, in Texas [Abeline]. the crew aboard was:
CPT. Kevin N. Earnest, Aircraft Commander
CPT. Kimberly Jo Wielhouwer, Pilot
2LT. Benjamin T. Hall, Navigator
SSgt. Michael J. Smith Jr., Loadmaster
SR. Airman Rick L. Merit, Flight Engineer
SSG. Michael R. York, Loadmaster
SR. Airman Billy R. Ogston, Crew Chief
Airman Thomas A. Stevens, Loadmaster
Aldo Franscoia, United States Secret Service Agent ….."
Helicopter Crash - Roosevelt
wordarchive.com 1999 Dan Jacobson "....Clinton had been transported to the USS Roosevelt aboard one of the Marine helicopters in the presidential fleet. That very helicopter, a VH-60 Blackhawk, went down on May 19, 1993 (less than two months after the radar plane from the USS Roosevelt had gone down) in a wooded area 35 miles southwest of Washington during a routine inspection flight. All four crewmembers were killed. They were identified as Maj. William S. Barkley Jr., Capt. Scott J. Reynolds, Staff Sgt. Brian D. Haney, and Sgt. Timothy D. Sabel. At least Barkley, Reynolds, and Sabel had all previously flown with Clinton to the Roosevelt on the same helicopter. No cause for the crash was ever determined....."
Weisbaden Crash - Rebuttalhttp://www.ntanet.net/nta/farah.html "…. Rivera also lists some deaths in a military accident on his Clinton Death List. However, a military man in position to know takes sharp issue with Rivera's sinister interpretation as cited below……. . "…. I'm an Army AH-64 instructor pilot and was stationed at Wiesbaden Army Air Base (Crash Site) at the time and arrived on scene just after the crash occured. First, the reason these men were aboard the same helicopter, was because they were the primary staff of the 5th US CORPS. Wiesbaden Army Air Base was where the Blackhawk detachment (the ones who fly VIPs) was based. Now what really happened... The cause of the accident was an imbalance between the two external, wing-mounted fuel tanks. One of them empty, the other full (nearly 230 gallons of fuel). This out-of-balance condition went unnoticed by the pilot (who survived the accident, by the way) because at that time there were no indicators for fuel flow coming out, nor showing the actual fuel level of the external tanks. A large lateral center-of-gravity shift occured at the one tank drained normally and the other did not. This went unnoticed by the crew, because at cruise speed, it was unconsiously compensated for by applying a small ammount of lateral cyclic (joystick) input. Trouble hit when they were slowing down to land, between 100 and 50 feet above the ground. As the pilot decelerated below ETL (effective translational lift--all helicopters experience this) the efficiency of the main rotor system decreased, requiring more power to maintain altitude, and larger inputs of the cyclic to maintain a level attitude. The pilot increased the lateral inputs to maintain level until he reached the limits of cyclic travel (this all happend within a few seconds). At this point, the aircraft became uncontrollable, rolled to the side with the heavier, full fuel tank and crashed. These external fuel cells are constructed from fiberglass and kevlar and are NOT CRASHWORTHY. The eggshell cracked, spilling fuel onto the ground and sending some directly into the turbine engine intake (located directly above the wingtanks). A fireball errupted, consuming the aircraft in seconds. After the preliminary investigation by the US Army Safety Center, FT. Rucker, AL, an immediate moritorium on flying UH-60 Blackhawks with external tanks was issued. This was later ammended to allow MEDIVAC blackhawks to retain the extended range tanks, due to their real-world mission profiles. Aircraft systems as well as crew and pilot procedures have since been modified to preclude this type of accident from happening again. This cautiousness spilled over into the AH-64 Apache community as well, as we fly with a similar system on our wings for deep attack and overwater missions. So... from personal , first-hand knowedge, I know, Jim, that this one needs to be forcefully retracted…."
Clinton Bodyguards/ATF Agents in Waco
WorldNetDaily 9/24/98 ".Steve Willis Clinton bodyguard Died Feb. 28, 1993 Robert Williams Clinton bodyguard Died Feb. 28, 1993 Conway LeBleu Clinton bodyguard Died Feb. 28, 1993 Todd McKeehan Clinton bodyguard Died Feb. 28, 1993 Killed by gunfire in the Waco, Texas, assault on the Branch Davidians. All four were examined by a "private doctor" and died from nearly identical wounds to the left temple, so-called execution style….
"…In his address to employees of the Treasury Department in the Cash Room on March 18, 1993, Clinton said: "My prayers and I'm sure yours are still with the families of all four of the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents who were killed in Waco -- Todd McKeehan and Conway Le Bleu of New Orleans; Steve Willis of Houston, and Robert Williams from my hometown of Little Rock. Three of those four were assigned to my security during the course of the primary or general election." …"
"…However, the Little Rock, Arkansas, office of the ATF confirmed that all four had at one point been bodyguards for Bill Clinton, three while he was campaigning for president, and one while he had been governor of Arkansas. In the autopsies of these agents, three had virtually identical wounds to the left temple that exited through the rear of the head, execution-style. All four were treated by a "private physician." .."
www.dabney.com/wacomuseum/ ".Conrad LeBlue's head bore two gunshot wounds. Todd McKeehan was killed by a single shot to the left upper chest which ruptured the aorta.. Robert Williams' head bore two gunshot wounds..Steven Willis's head bore at least two gunshot wounds. This was remarkable shooting for Bible students.."
Apache Helicopter in Kosovo Conflict
Defending America 5/18/99 David Hackworth "...David Gibbs and Kevin Reichert are dead. Their helicopter crashed on May 5 while on a training flight in the rugged mountains of northeast Albania. Both pilots were highly motivated and loved to fly the Army's most lethal killing machine, the Apache. One of the most dangerous soldiering jobs going....... So far, two birds have been lost to accidents. Aviation insiders say the mishaps might have been prevented had the crews been trained up to snuff at their home, base in Germany. But insufficient training funds cut back flying hours, and complaints of local civilians reduced night-flying exercises....."
"…As seen on a small scale with the Apache pilots, the Army's slogan, WE FIGHT AS WE TRAIN is more spin than fact. Throughout today's military, few units are up to strength or have sufficient money to train. All are doing too much with too little because of Clinton's seven-year misuse and abuse of our forces..... An aviation battalion commander told me last week, "I have no faith in the uniformed senior leaders protecting us from the idiots in the White House." I do. The Pentagon "Four Stars" running things today were the lieutenants and captains in Vietnam. No way they've forgotten the mistakes the top brass made back then and how no one stood tall. They'll stand tall and keep asking: How can a few Army choppers make a difference when more than a thousand NATO aircraft haven't done the job in two months of bombing? ..."
Air Force Times 3/29/99 Bryant Jordan "…The two HH-60 Pave Hawks from Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., were still burning when would-be rescuers arrived at the scene just after 2 a.m. Sept. 4, more than four hours after the helicopters had collided and crashed. The wreckage was scattered over a 1,200-square-foot swath of desert. The 12 crewmen were dead….. Now, a different kind of heat is being generated by an exhaustive five-volume report on the disaster that Air Force officials released March 15. Pilot error is the report's conclusion, but it also makes clear there is plenty of blame to go around -- and that the accident had been at least five years in the making. The overwhelming contributing factors leading up to the disaster, wrote lead investigator Col. Denver Pletcher, was "a high ops/pers tempo coupled with leadership problems, internal and external training deficiencies, broken squadron processes, low aircrew experience level, and midlevel supervisory breakdown." In Pletcher's opinion, "this squadron was on a path to disaster." Like so many other units throughout the Air Force, the 66th was working lean. As a combat search-and-rescue squadron it was a "low density/high demand" outfit, meaning its assets were limited and its capabilities specialized, but demand for its services was high…."
Air Force Times 3/29/99 Jennifer Palmer "…The problems at the 66th Rescue Squadron were among the most serious in the Air Force, but the unit was by no means the only one in Air Combat Command severely stressed by trying to do so much. Command officials have been tracking each of its squadrons to see which are most stressed, said Gen. Richard Hawley, who runs Air Combat Command. As of February, the command had one unit considered "red hot," or severely stressed, he said. That was the 38th and 343rd reconnaissance squadrons at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. The squadrons count as one unit in the command's comparison system because they both fly the RC-135 Rivet Joint. The primary reason for the "red hot" categorization is their deployment schedule, which exceeds the goal of no more than 120 days per airman per year…..Eleven units are considered "hot," stressed to the point where command officials are concerned. One is the 66th Rescue Squadron, which remains seriously stressed in spite of changes put into place before and after the September 1998 crash. The 71st and 41st rescue squadrons at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., also made the list…."
USA Today 4/28/99 Duncan Hunter "...The Air Force alone reports shortages of $18 billion; the Navy, $3.8 billion; the Army, $3.7 billion; and Marines, $3.2 billion. Against this $28.7 billion need, the administration offers a mere $5.5 billion, one-fifth of what it will take to outfit our services properly. The Clinton-Gore treatment of our men and women in uniform is clear: They are inadequately paid (about 11,000 military personnel are now on food stamps); they are short on ammunition; and mission capability rates have fallen below 70% across the board. Many of our aircraft are considered dangerous to fly. All while the president continues to deploy our troops at a feverish pace....."
AP/FoxNewswire 4/23/99 "...Officials on Friday released the names of the seven soldiers killed when their helicopter crashed during a training mission in a remote, wooded area of Fort Campbell. All 11 soldiers on the Black Hawk helicopter belonged to the 101st Aviation Regiment, including seven soldiers from the 6th Battalion and the four-member flight crew from the 5th Battalion....."
8/7/98 AP "The FBI has joined a Defense Department investigation into a 1996 Sikorsky military helicopter crash that killed four crew members. The transport helicopter, a CH-53E Super Stallion, crashed at Sikorsky Aircraft's private airfield May 9, 1996, before it could be turned over to the Marine Corps. It was intended to become part of the White House fleet.."
Pilot and 8 Department of Interior Employees
AP 8/7/98 Glen Johnson "A hasty departure by a nervous pilot, as well as the failure to use oxygen at the required altitudes, were elements of a 1997 Colorado plane crash that killed the pilot and eight Department of Interior employees, according to a government report released Friday. The National Transportation Safety Board, finishing the fact-finding phase of its investigation, stressed that it still had not determined what caused the Oct. 8, 1997, crash near Montrose, Colo..."
Curiosity from Freeper Big Otto 8/31/98 "Just last week, the Air Force issued a statement on the King-56 crash of 11/22/96. In it they blamed the crewmen for the crash stating that they "accidently" shut down all four engines and forgot how to re-start them. A little history... The AF Reserve flight from Wash to Calif carried ten crewmen and un-named passengers as well as classified information. All four engines mysteriously quit running at the same time out over the pacific and all on board died except for radio operator Robert Vogel. Apparently the black box disappeared, the cockpit tapes were partially erased, and the AF conducted a "secret" investigation. Over a year ago I was told a rumor by a girl who handled flight manifests that there was something "fishy" about the flight and the administration had something to do with it. That's all I know except that the sole survivor happens to have the same name as an Arkansas real estate magnate named Robert Vogel. Probably just a coincidence.."
Chicago SUN-TIMES 8/5/99 "…At 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, the remains of 29-year-old Capt. Jennifer J. Odom, U.S. Army, arrived at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. The television cameras, usually present at such events, were nowhere to be seen. Indeed, the news media were totally absent, and the event went unrecorded. Nor was President Clinton there to feel her family's pain. Odom, along with her co-pilot and three other crew members, died July 23 when the DeHavilland RC7 reconnaissance plane she was piloting crashed into a mountain in southern Colombia. The Pentagon says there is "no evidence" that narco-guerrillas shot down the plane, but adds that the investigation is continuing…... In addition to Odom, they include her co-pilot, Capt. Jose A. Santiago, as well as Chief Warrant Officer Thomas G. Moore, Specialist T. Bruce Cluff and Specialist Ray E. Krueger. Typically, when Republican Rep. Constance Morella took the House floor Tuesday morning to praise astronaut Collins, there was no mention of her fellow Marylander whose remains had arrived at Dover only hours before. …"
AP via Fox News 11/14/99 "…..Two members of a U.S. Navy aircraft crew were killed Sunday when their S-3B Viking crashed into the Gulf immediately after takeoff. A statement from the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command in Manama, home to the Navy's Fifth Fleet, said the aircraft, which was on a routine refueling mission, went down at 12:30 p.m. The S-3B Viking was assigned to Sea Control Squadron 32 operating aboard the USS John F. Kennedy…."
Electronic Telegraph 12/14/99 Jerry McDermott "…. COLOMBIAN communist rebels have attacked a naval base on the border with Panama, killing 45 marines, it was reported yesterday. The hostilities came as America prepared for the official handover of the Panama Canal today after an occupation lasting almost a century. About 600 members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia launched the attack on the Pacific coast town of Jurado on Sunday. US military authorities are worried that the guerrillas could launch attacks inside Panama and even on the canal itself once America's withdrawal is complete……"
SOMALIA HEROS US Army Rangers and Delta Commandos
From the Senate Report 9/30/95
"…The Clinton administration failed to see the risks of the U.S. effort to capture a Somali warlord, a shortcoming that contributed to a disastrous 1993 raid that left 18 U.S. soldiers dead, a Senate review concludes. The report, released late Friday, went to lengths to avoid placing specific blame on President Clinton. But it made clear that Clinton and his top advisers supported the United Nations' request to capture Mohammed Farrah Aidid, the Somali faction leader, despite the reservations of U.S. military commanders. When difficulties emerged, it said, these officials failed to change course. "It is clear that both civilian officials and military leaders should have been carefully and continually re-evaluating the Task Force Ranger mission and tactics after each raid, with an eye toward recommending that the operation be terminated if the risks were deemed to have risen too high," the report concluded. Written by Sens. John Warner, R-Va., and Carl Levin, D-Mich., two senior members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, the report focuses on the fatal Oct. 3, 1993, firefight in Mogadishu that precipitated a hasty American withdrawal from what began as a famine-relief effort. "U.S. foreign policy was and will be affected for years as a result of the raid," according to the report…… "
"…The report makes clear that Army Gen. Colin Powell, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Marine Gen. Joseph Hoar, then the U.S. commander overseeing Somalia, voiced reservations about the Ranger mission to "get Aidid." It quoted Hoar as saying: "I told the policy guys that it was a bad thing to do. I thought there was a 50 percent chance of getting the required intelligence, and, once gotten, only a 50 percent chance that we would get Aidid. So it was a 25 percent chance of success" Powell was similarly dubious. "We sent Task Force Ranger with the greatest reluctance," he was quoted in the report. But because the top officers in Mogadishu supported the mission, he said, "I will go along since as a general principle I believe in supporting the commander in the field."…"
"…The aggressive pursuit of Aidid amid a broader policy of U.S. force reductions in Somalia reflected the "uncoordinated and unclear" U.S. policies, according to the report. "It was a mistake to seek to marginalize the (Somali) warlords," it contended. "More emphasis should have been placed on political negotiations prior to deciding to use military force." The military did not escape criticism in the report. It said the Army Ranger unit that conducted the Oct. 3 raid was hampered by an overzealous, "can-do" attitude typical of special forces. Moreover, it said, Gen. Garrison established a predictable pattern in the Rangers' pursuit of Aidid that "served to announce the presence and mission of his task force, if they were not already known, and to reveal some of the tactics that the task force would use." …."
DEATHS - TRAGEDY - EMBASSY BOMBINGS
DEATHS - TRAGEDY - RON BROWN PLANE CRASH
Judicial Watch 11/30/98 Larry Klayman
". Complimentary to our 5 pending lawsuits against the Clinton -Gore Commerce Dept, are our efforts to further a government investigation of former Commerce Secretary Ron Brown's death in a plane crash over Crotia. At the time of Ron Brown's death, he was scheduled to be deposed by Judicial Watch. He was also a target of an independent counsel's investigation where an indictment was expected. Brown's former business partner, Nolanda Hill, told Judicial Watch that days before Brown died, Brown went to see Clinton and told him that he intended to enter a plea agreement with the federal prosecutor and testify against the Administration…"
"…Clinton responded, according to Hill's sworn testimony, with a terse "that's nice" and Brown told Hill that Clinton left the room in icy silence. Judicial Watch is now representing several of the pathologists and a photographer of the Armed Forces Pathology Institute who examined Brown's body and observed a .45 caliber bullet hole in Ron Brown's head. Judicial Watch has filed Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain all the data on the Brown place crash from the military, the Clinton-Gore Commerce Dept, as well as the Justice and Transportation Departments. The responses to our requests are overdue, and we are now filing suit. Our clients are also considering filing whistleblower suits for Pentagon retaliation against them. That would give us the ability to investigate the apparent cover-up in Ron Brown's death.."
A news report was that the weather was "the worst storm in ten years" at the time of Ron Brown's plane crash - but actually visibility was 5 miles in light rain. - Drudge
Pittsburg Tribune-Review 11/24/97 Christopher Ruddy Hugh Sprunt ". *Navigation aids. Brown's plane was probably relying on Croatian ground beacons for navigation. In the minutes before Brown's plane crashed, five other planes landed at Dubrovnik without difficulty, and none experienced problems with the beacons. But additional questions about the beacons and the crash will remain unanswered because, as the Air Force acknowledges, airport maintenance chief Niko Junic died by gunshot just three days after the crash and before he could be interviewed by investigators. Within a day of his death, officials determined the death was a suicide. The New York Times reported the 46-year-old Junic was "despondent over a failed romance."."
5/27/98 AP Zurich The Guardian (London) pg 19 Freepers Wallaby & icwhatudo ".POLICE are investigating the possibility that insurance fraud by a Swiss resident listed among the 230 people killed in the TWA Flight 800 explosion might have been behind the disaster, Swiss television reported last night. Swiss authorities have been investigating Algerian-born Mohammmed Samir Ferrat, for 18 months, the report said. ..A Geneva lawyer, Gerald Page, alleged in an interview for the Swiss television report that Ferrat took out life insurance policies worth several million Swiss francs in the weeks before the plane crashed in July 1996, half an hour after taking off from New York…. On August 19, a month after the crash, the local medical examiner in Suffolk County - in whose jurisdiction the disaster occurred - declared that Mohammed Ferrat had been positively identified as a dead passenger from TWA Flight 800. US investigators counted him out as a suspect early.. The report showed footage of the late US commerce secretary, Ron Brown, at the Washington signing with Ferrat of a pounds 62.5 million contract between Sofin and the US construction firm Chatwick Inc, which was to build residences in the Ivory Coast. Chatwick spent pounds 2.5 million on the project before halting it, the television said.." Background from icwhatudo ".According to a CNN international report, Mohamed Samir Ferrat, an Algerian business associate of Secretary Brown, who was scheduled to accompany Brown on the Bosnian trip but withdrew at the last moment for reasons still unclear, died July 17, on the ill fated TWA Flight 800. Ferrat was initially treated by the FBI as a suspected terrorist in the TWA Flight 800 explosion because he was the sole passenger on the flight roster listed only by last name. The FBI, within hours of beginning their investigation of Ferrat, oddly withdrew, telling the New York Times that "Ferrat was not at all the kind of person to take a bomb on a plane. Nor was he a likely target of a bomb plot."
NewsMax.com 7/16/99 Carl Limbacher "…Ron Brown's death might not have been accidental. That's the conclusion Chinagate witness Johnny Chung has recently come to after he himself experienced death threats from Chinese agents. Chung was deposed on Monday by Judicial Watch, which debuted the videotaped testimony on Fox News Channel's "Hannity and Colmes" Thursday night…. Chung's startling comments on Brown's death were made under direct questioning by Judicial Watch Chairman Larry Klayman: KLAYMAN: The question was, when you learned of the death of Ron Brown, did you think that maybe China would send somebody to kill him, too? CHUNG: No. No. Not in my mind that week [when Brown died]. KLAYMAN: Have you since changed your view of that -- that perhaps that was a possibility? CHUNG: I sense there's a possibility he know too many things. And so, something happened to him. But I don't know what it is. What happened to me -- it changed me…."Ron Brown
The Age (Australia) via WND 1/5/00 "….A US soldier on NATO peacekeeping duty in Bosnia was killed by a gunshot today, an Army spokesman said. The incident occurred about 3.40pm local time at Eagle Base, headquarters for the American sector near Tuzla in north-east Bosnia, said Jim Boyle, spokesman for US Army Europe headquarters in Heidelberg. The soldier's identity and other details were being withheld pending notification of next of kin, he said…"
FBI Special Agent Martha Dixon Martinez
FBI Special Agent Michael John Miller
On November 22, 1994, Special Agents Martha Dixon Martinez and Michael John Miller, as well as a Washington, D.C., police detective, were shot and killed inside the District's police headquarters building. At approximately 3:30 p.m., gunman Bennie Lee Lawson entered the "cold case" squad room, to which the Agents were assigned, and opened fire with a TEC-9 assault weapon. During the exchange of fire, a third Special Agent was shot and seriously wounded, and a 15-year-old boy was shot in the leg. Lawson, who also died of gunshot wounds sustained during the incident, had left handwritten notes at his home indicating that his intended targets were the commander of the police department's homicide squad and his investigators. Lawson was a suspect in a triple homicide, which occurred a month prior, and he had been questioned by D.C. homicide detectives the previous week.
Martha Dixon Martinez
http://www.getwwwed.com/martha/ "…..FBI Special Agent Martha Dixon Martinez was killed November 22, 1994 when a gunman armed with an automatic rifle entered the Cold Case Squad Room at the Washington, D.C. Metro Police Station and opened fire. Martha was in an annexed office at the time he started shooting, but she entered the room upon hearing gunfire. She wounded him but was killed in the exchange. The gunman also killed another agent, a police sargeant and himself. One agent escaped after being wounded. Her courageous actions prevented the possibility of further injury and death…..
…..Martha's career began at the State Crime Lab in Little Rock, Arkansas, where she worked as a forensics chemist, analyzing crime scenes for evidence. Continuing education seminars at the FBI Academy in Quantico on forensic chemistry and evidence collection captured Martha's interest and the goal of analyzing evidence at the federal level prompted her to apply to the FBI Academy. The good news was her acceptance, but she also learned that at least 2 years of duty as an agent was required prior to any requests for a placement in the crime lab. Martha felt it was worth the duty and was assigned to Knoxville, Tennessee after graduation from the FBI Academy in 1987.
…..Much to her own surprise, Martha found herself loving her field work. She continued with professional training wherever she was eligible, becoming trained for high level technical surveillance and for the SWAT team. Her SWAT team was responsible for the resolution of the uprising at the Talladega Prison in August of 1991 by successfully executing a forced entry into the prison, which had undergone a hostile takeover by the prisoners. Martha was decorated for her bravery in that action.
......Following 5 years in Knoxville, Martha was transferred to Washington, D.C. Field Office of the FBI. She was eventually assigned to the Cold Case Homicide Task Force to work with the Washington, D.C. Metro Police on old unsolved cases. Since this transfer moved her closer to Headquarters, the home of the FBI Crime Lab, Martha was considering returning to forensics work. Just prior to her death Martha was chosen to pioneer a new task group on evidence collection at WFO. The unit is now functioning and called the Martha Dixon Martinez Evidence Response Team.
On May 21, 1995, FBI Director Louis Freeh presented Martha's parents and husband two posthumous awards.
The FBI Memorial Star Director Freeh's presentation and the inscription on the plaque: In honor of Special Agent Martinez who made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and all of humanity while working on the Cold Case Squad at the District of Columbia's Metropolitan Police Department Headquarters. On November 22, 1994, when Agent Martinez responded to gunfire in the Cold Case Squad area, a confrontation ensued, in which she was fatally wounded. The heroic actions of Agent Martinez prevented the possibility of even greater loss of life and serious injury to other law enforcement officials and citizens within the building. This special recognition is presented in Agent Martinez's memory and in tribute to her performance which was in the highest traditions of the FBI.
The FBI Medal of Valor The Director awarded this for an exceptional act of heroism which occured in the direct line of duty in the face of a criminal adversary. This act also involved the voluntary risk of personal safety and life.
Other tributes to Martha's heroic life and death include:
Law Enforcement Memorial Wall
Located in Judiciary Square in downtown Washington, D.C., within sight of the Metro Police Station where she was killed, Martha's name is inscribed in the Memorial Wall, Panel 26E, Line 19.
Knoxville FBI Field Office
Washington Metro FBI Field Office Memorial plaque
FBI Training Academy, Quantico, VA
Wall of Honor
The Michael John Buczek Medal of Honor
"The Michael John Buczek Medal of Honor is awarded for any act intelligently performed and in the line of police duty, which demonstrates an act of gallantry and valor at imminent personal hazard to life with the knowledge of the risk, which was above and beyond the call of duty."
The FBI Agents Association's J Edgar Hoover Memorial Award for Valor
Attorney General's Award for Bravery, 1995
Fox News 9/6/00 "…..An Air Force training plane crashed Wednesday during a student training flight, killing the pilot, officials said. The T-37 aircraft went down in clear weather in a plowed field one mile north of Vance Air Force Base. The name of the person killed was being withheld until relatives could be notified, said Vance spokesman Kent Cummins. The sky was mostly sunny at the time of the morning crash, the National Weather Service said. ….."
Electronics Technician 1st Class Richard Costelow, Morrisville, Pa.
Signalman Seaman Recruit Cherone Louis Gunn, Rex, Ga.
Seaman James Rodrick McDaniels, Norfolk, Va.
Seaman Recruit Lakiba Nicole Palmer, San Diego, Calif.
Operations Specialist 2nd Class Timothy Lamont Saunders, Ringgold, Va.
Ensign Andrew Triplett, Macon, Miss.
Seaman Apprentice Craig Bryan Wibberley, Williamsport, Md.
Hull Maintenance Technician 3rd Class, Kenneth Eugene Clodfelter, Mechanicsville, Va.
Mess Management Specialist Seaman Lakeina Monique Francis, Woodleaf, N.C.
Information Systems Technician Seaman Timothy Lee Gauna, Rice, Texas
Engineman 2nd Class Marc Ian Nieto, Fond du Lac, Wis.
Electronics Warfare Technician 3rd Class RonaldScott Owens, Vero Beach, Fla.
Second row; Engineman Fireman Joshua Langdon Parlett, Churchville, Md.
Fireman Apprentice Patrick Howard Roy, Keedysville, Md.
Electronics Warfare Technician 2nd Class Kevin Shawn Rux, Portland,N.D.
Mess Management Specialist 3rd Class Ronchester Mananga Santiago, Kingsville, Texas
Fireman Gary Graham Swenchonis Jr., Rockport, Texas