U.S. Airman killed on patrol in Kuwait

Senior Airman Jason Khai Phan, 26, was to undergo training to be a military working dog handler upon returning to the United States following his deployment to Kuwait. Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force

Sept. 14 (UPI) — The Pentagon has identified an airman who was killed Saturday in a single-vehicle incident while on patrol in Kuwait.

Senior Airman Jason Khai Phan, 26, of Anaheim, Calif., died and two other airmen were injured in the Saturday non-combat incident, the Department of Defense said in a statement on Sunday.

“The cause of the accident is under investigation,” it said.

The U.S. Air Force said the incident happened while they were patrolling the perimeter of the Ali Al Salem Air Base. The two surviving airmen were transported to a hospital at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, with non-life-threatening injuries, it said.

Phan served with the 66th Security Forces Squadron at the Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts since October 2018 and was deployed to the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing’s 386th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron in Kuwait since July, the Hanscom Air Force Base said in a statement.

Phan was recently accepted as a military working dog handler and was to begin training at the Joint Base SanAntonio-Lackland in Texas upon returning from his deployment.

Maj. Shane Watts, commander of the 66th Security Forces Squadron, said Phan conducted preliminary criminal investigations, rendered emergency first aid and oversaw integrated defense, policing, investigation, military working dog support and access control for the base.

“Senior Airman Jason Phan was an exceptionally noble servant to the nation and his fellow airmen,” Watts said in a statement. “His tireless commitment to master his craft made him a credible and reliable teammate in critical situations. But it was his genuine enthusiasm and selfless devotion to others that defined the depth of his character and inspiration to his peers and leaders.”

Phan’s remains are to be flown back to the United States via the Dover Air Force Base, Del., on a date to be determined later, Hanscom said.

“Jason lived with passion and shared compassion with purpose to everyone. He will be sorely missed by the Defenders here, and I’m extremely grateful for and humbled by his service,” Watts said.


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