Capt. Shane Watts, 66th Security Forces Squadron commander, returns a salute from members of the squadron during a change of command ceremony at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., July 10. Photo courtesy of DVIDS/Jerry Saslav.
The Department of Defense announced Sunday that 26-year-old Anaheim, California, native Senior Airman Jason Khai Phan died Saturday while conducting a patrol around Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait.
According to a Hanscom Air Force Base press release, Khai Phan died from injuries sustained during a noncombat-related vehicle accident while conducting a routine patrol around the air base.
Two other soldiers sustained life-threatening injuries during the accident but have not been identified at the time of publication. They were transported to a hospital at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.
“Senior Airman Jason Phan was an exceptionally noble servant to the nation and his fellow Airmen. 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,” said the 66th Security Forces Squadron Commander, Maj. Shane Watts, in the press release.
“Jason lived with passion and shared compassion with purpose to everyone,” he continued. “He will be sorely missed by the Defenders here, and I’m extremely grateful for and humbled by his service. My deepest sympathy goes out to his family and loved ones.”
Phan was assigned to the 66th Security Forces Squadron in October 2018. He deployed in July with his squadron to the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing’s 386th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron in Kuwait.
“Phan conducted preliminary criminal investigations, rendered emergency first aid and oversaw all integrated defense, policing, investigations, military working dog support and access control for the base,” according to the press release.
He was recently selected as a military working dog (MWD) handler and was set to attend the MWD Handler course at Joint Base Lackland in Texas upon his return from deployment.
Joshua Skovlund is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die. He covered the 75th anniversary of D-Day in France, multinational military exercises in Germany, and civil unrest during the 2020 riots in Minneapolis. Born and raised in small-town South Dakota, he grew up playing football and soccer before serving as a forward observer in the US Army. After leaving the service, he worked as a personal trainer while earning his paramedic license. After five years as in paramedicine, he transitioned to a career in multimedia journalism. Joshua is married with two children.
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