The Department of Defense has confirmed that three airmen from the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, two of which were United States Air Force Academy graduates, were killed near Chon-Aryk, Kyrgyzstan in the crash of a KC-135 aircraft on May 3.
The crew and aircraft were assigned to the Transit Center at Manas near Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The airmen have been identified as Capt. Mark T. `Tyler' Voss, 27, Capt. Victoria A. `Tori' Pinckney, 27, both of Colorado Springs and Tech. Sgt. Herman `Tre' Mackey III, 30, of Bakersfield, Calif. The AFA confirmed that Voss and Pinckney were both 2008 academy graduates.
"We're a strong family here and it's truly heart wrenching when members of this family make the ultimate sacrifice for their nation," said Col. Brian Newberry, 92d Air Refueling Wing Commander. "We will forever honor Tyler, Tori and Tre as patriots and heroes. Team Fairchild will do everything we can to support their families and friends during this profoundly difficult time. These airmen leave behind an incredible legacy of service and honor in protecting our nation and the world. They show what we all know, freedom is not free."
The 93rd ARS is part of the 92nd Air Refueling Wing at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. The cause of the crash is under investigation. Details of a memorial service are pending.