Friday, April 09, 2010

Air Force Senior Master Sgt. James B. Lackey

Remember Our Heroes

Air Force Senior Master Sgt. James B. Lackey, 45, of Green Clove Springs, Fla.

Senior MSgt Lackey was assigned to the 8th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla.; died April 9, 2010 near Kandahar, Afghanistan, in a crash of a CV-22 Osprey.

Sergeant Lackey, 45, was a CV-22 evaluator flight engineer and a former MH-53 flight engineer. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1986 and became an aircraft maintenance crew chief. In 1992, he began MH-53 flight engineer training and flew on the PAVE LOW for 14 years before becoming a CV-22 flight engineer student in 2006. He received a Distinguished Flying Cross in 2002 for acts of heroism in combat.

When Air Force personnel went to deliver the news of J.B. Lackey’s death to his family at their home in Fort Walton Beach, the family’s pastor, Roger Peadro, came to help them grieve.

“It’s a shock – even though you know it’s a possibility, you never anticipate an incident that will take their life,” said Peadro, a pastor at First Christian Church in Fort Walton Beach.

He described J.B. as “very attentive” to his family, and said he was “a person you would want to be with you in critical times.”

Peadro said J.B.’s mother, Kathleen, was proud of him and knew he was involved in missions he wasn’t able to talk about.

Attempts to reach the Lackey family Sunday were unsuccessful.

The 8th SOS completed its first CV-22 combat deployment in November 2009, and returned to Afghanistan in March for its second deployment.

“The Hurlburt Field community shares in the sorrow felt by the Voas and Lackey families, and our efforts are focused on seeing them through this difficult time,” said Col. Greg Lengyel. “We must not forget the valuable contributions Randy and “JB” made to their country and community.”

The CV-22 is a tiltrotor aircraft which enables U.S. Special Operations Command to conduct night-time, long-range, infiltration and exfiltration missions. Its versatility, speed and vertical-lift capability is not met by any other existing fixed- or rotary-wing platform.

The cause of the crash is unknown at this time. The Air Force is committed to a thorough investigation and more information will be released as it becomes available.

Lackey leaves behind his wife Cassie and three sons, Brandon, Alex and Nick.

Air Force Senior Master Sgt. James B. Lackey was killed in action on 4/9/10.

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