The Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office has located additional remains of an F-16C pilot who died in 2006 outside Baghdad, Iraq, according to a Nov. 20 release. Maj. Troy Gilbert, chief of standardization and evaluation with the 332nd Expeditionary Operations Group at Balad AB, Iraq, was strafing the enemy in support of coalition ground forces when his aircraft crashed about 20 miles northwest of Baghdad on Nov. 27, 2006. Partial remains were recovered and buried at Arlington National Cemetery on Dec. 11, 2006. The Air Force requested a search for the remains at the family’s request. “We have prayed for this for almost seven years, and we’ve never given up hope nor will we ever give up hope,” said Ginger Gilbert-Ravella, his former wife. She added, “Though our deepest desire is that his entire body would be returned to the US, we are grateful for this.” The additional remains were recovered and identified in 2012, but the family was not notified until Nov. 15, 2013, because officials were hoping to recover even more remains, said Col. John M. Devillier, Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations commander. The recovered remains will be interred at Arlington with those originally recovered in 2006, states the release. Gilbert was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor for his gallant actions that day.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.