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2 Florida airmen among 7 killed in Iraq helicopter crash

Two Florida airmen were among seven killed in a helicopter crash Thursday in Iraq.

Master Sgt. William R. Posch, 36, of Indialantic, Florida, and Staff Sgt. Carl P. Enis, 31, of Tallahassee belonged to the 308th Rescue Squadron out of Patrick Air Force Base.

They were on a HH-60 Pave Hawk with five other airmen when it crashed Thursday in western Iraq.

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Enis and Posch were serving in combat roles, as they had before on multiple overseas deployments during their Air Force careers, according to a release from the 920th Rescue Wing.

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Posch was an 18-year Air Force veteran who was recently part of a rescue mission at sea to save two German sailors whose sailboat caught fire last July.

He deployed for multiple rescue missions in Texas during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Posch's family and friends shared photos of him on social media, saying he was a father.

Early this AM we learned of this tragic loss in our US Air Force Pararescue community as well as right here in our local...

Posted by Tory Summer Jordan on Friday, March 16, 2018
 

Four airmen assigned to the 106th Rescue Wing at the Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base, New York, were also killed:

  • Capt. Andreas B. O'Keeffe, 37, of Center Moriches, New York.
  • Capt. Christopher T. Zanetis, 37, of Long Island City, New York.
  • Master Sgt. Christopher J. Raguso, 39, of Commack, New York.
  • Staff Sgt. Dashan J. Briggs, 30, of Port Jefferson Station, New York.

Capt. Mark K. Weber, 29, of Colorado Springs, was also killed in the crash. He was assigned to the 38th Rescue Squadron at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia.

The Pave Hawk went down at 6:45 p.m. Thursday near the town of Qaim in Anbar Province near the Syrian border.

The helicopter was on a routine flight between two towns, according to officials quoted by The Associated Press and Stars and Stripes.

Gov. Rick Scott released a statement about the airmen's deaths on Sunday: 

"The loss of Master Sgt. William R. Posch, Staff Sgt. Carl Enis and their fellow armed service members is devastating. The deaths of these brave men serve as a solemn reminder of the sacrifice and commitment made by our nation’s military to secure and protect the freedom we all cherish as Americans. Ann and I know Staff Sgt. Enis’ family personally, and we grieve with them today. I ask that every Floridian pause to remember Master Sgt. William R. Posch and Staff Sgt. Enis and all of those lost in this tragedy.”

Remembering our warrior and friend MSGT. Bill Posch

Posted by Trey Smith on Sunday, March 18, 2018
 

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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