The four New York Air National Guard members, assigned to the 106th Rescue Wing, were stationed at F.S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base in Westhampton Beach. The service members were killed, along with three others, when their HH-60 Pave Hawk rescue helicopter crashed near the city of Qaim in Iraq.
Members of the New York National Guard killed in the crash were: Master Sgt. Christopher Raguso, from Commack; Capt. Christopher Zanetis, from Long Island City; Capt. Andreas O’Keeffe, from Center Moriches; Staff Sgt. Dashan Briggs, from Port Jefferson
“It is with great sadness that I report the loss of four of our wing members,” said Col. Michael Bank, the commander of the 106th Rescue Wing. “All four of these heroes served their nation and community. Our sincerest condolences and sympathies to the families and friends that have been touched by this tragic event.” A similar statement was made by Major General Anthony German, the Adjutant General of New York giving honors to the men.
The 106th Rescue Wing specializes in air, land and sea rescue of pilots and other military personnel. The 106th Rescue Wing personnel were operating in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the American led coalition operation to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria.