Two Hurlburt Field airmen die in CV-22 crash

American Forces Press Service

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla, — Maj. Randell D. Voas and Senior Master Sgt. James B. Lackey from the 8th Special Operations Squadron died April 8 when their CV-22 Osprey crashed in southern Afghanistan. An U. S. Army Soldier and a civilian employee also died in the crash, and several other service members were injured.

The CV-22 was carrying U.S. Forces when it crashed approximately seven miles west of Qalat City, in Zabul Province. The injured were transported to a nearby base for medical treatment.

Major Voas, 43, was a CV-22 evaluator pilot and a former MH-53 pilot. Previously a chief warrant officer in the Army, he received his Air Force commission through Officer Training School in 1999. He flew MH-53 PAVE LOW helicopters until 2003 before becoming aUH-1 flight instructor at Fort Rucker, Ala., and he began training on the CV-22 in 2006. He had more than 160 combat flight hours.

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.

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, 1st Special Operations Wing commander. “We must not forget the valuable contributions Randy and “JB” made to their country and community.”

The CV-22 is a tiltrotor aircraft that 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.