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Fallen Airmen honored in base ceremony

Senior Airman Felipe Guilfu (left) and Maj. Marcus Smith of the 920th Rescue Wing place a wreath at the Khobar Towers Memorial during a ceremony held here June 25 to commemorate the Airmen who lost their lives during the terrorist bombing at Khobar Towers, Saudi Arabia 18 years ago. (courtesy photo/Malcolm Denemark-Florida Today)

Senior Airman Felipe Guilfu, (left), and Maj. Marcus Smith, both of the 920th Rescue Wing, at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., place a wreath at the Khobar Towers Memorial during a ceremony here June 25, to commemorate the Airmen who lost their lives during the terrorist bombing at Khobar Towers, Saudi Arabia,18 years ago. (Courtesy photo/Malcolm Denemark of Florida Today)

Nineteen Airmen died and hundreds were injured in the terrorist attack at Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on June 25, 1996. At the time, it was the worst terrorist attack against the American military since the bombing of a Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1983.

Nineteen Airmen died and hundreds were injured in the terrorist attack at Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, June 25, 1996. At the time, it was the worst terrorist attack against the American military since the bombing of a Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1983. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Airmen and friends of the 920th Rescue Wing paid respects to five coworkers who were killed in the 1996 bombing of Khobar Towers in a ceremony held here June 25. The bombing took place June 6, 1996 at Khobar Towers, a housing complex at Dhahran Air Base, Saudi Arabia, when a truck bomb exploded outside an 8-story building where Airmen were staying. In addition to the 19 Airmen, nearly 500 people of varied nationalities were wounded. (courtesy photo/Malcolm Denemark-Florida Today)

Airmen and friends of the 920th Rescue Wing at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., pay their respects during a Khobar Tower Remembrance Memorial Ceremony June 25. Five of the 19 Airmen who were killed in the June 25,1996 bombing near Dhahran Air Base, Saudi Arabia, were part of the rescue wing family. (Courtesy photo/Malcolm Denemark of Florida Today)

Col. Brett Howard, Vice Wing Commander of the 920th Rescue Wing, speaks at a ceremony held at Memorial Plaza here June 25 to commemorate the 18-year anniversary of a terrorist bombing that claimed the lives of 19 Airmen, including 5 from the rescue family. The bombing took place June 6, 1996 at Khobar Towers, a housing complex at Dhahran Air Base, Saudi Arabia, when a truck bomb exploded outside an 8-story building where Airmen were staying. In addition to the 19 Airmen, nearly 500 people of varied nationalities were wounded. (courtesy photo/Malcolm Denemark-Florida Today)

Col. Brett Howard, 920th Rescue Wing vice commander, speaks during the Khobar Towers Remembrance Memorial Ceremony at the Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., Memorial Plaza here June 25. The 920th Rescue Wing hosted a ceremony to commemorate the 18-year anniversary of a terrorist bombing that claimed the lives of 19 Airmen, including five from the rescue family. (Courtesy photo/Malcolm Denemark of Florida Today)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Airmen and friends of the 920th Rescue Wing held a ceremony at the Memorial Plaza here June 25 to commemorate the 18-year anniversary of a terrorist bombing that claimed the lives of 19 Airmen to include five from the rescue family.

The bombing took place June 25, 1996, when a truck bomb exploded outside the Khobar Towers, an 8-story housing complex where Airmen were staying, near Dhahran Air Base, Saudi Arabia.

In addition to the 19 Airmen killed, nearly 500 of varied nationalities were wounded.

Col. Brett Howard, 920th Rescue Wing vice commander, spoke about his feelings of kinship to those who lost their lives and offered condolences to the family members in attendance.

"I especially feel like I know these heroes because we are all part of the rescue family," said Howard. "I thank you, and we honor your sacrifice."

The rescue Airmen from the 71st Rescue Group, 1st Squadron, formally housed at Patrick AFB, who perished that day are:

Capt. Christopher J. Adams, Massapequa Park, N.Y.
Capt. Leland T. Haun, Clovis, Calif.
Master Sgt. Michael G. Heiser, Palm Coast, Fla.
Staff Sgt. Kevin J. Johnson, Shreveport, La.
Airman 1st Class Justin R. Wood, Modesto, Calif.

The 920th Rescue Wing is an Air Force Reserve combat search and rescue unit, which performs more than 20 percent of the Air Force's combat search and rescue mission (CSAR). The Wing is comprised of 1,800 Airmen and flies both fixed and rotor wing aircraft: the HC-130P/N extended-range Hercules and the HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter.

For more information visit the 920th Rescue Wing's official website.