MSgt. Josh Gavulic, a tactical air control party member assigned to the 17th Special Tactics Squadron at Fort Benning, Ga., was killed Feb. 21 during free fall proficiency training at Eloy, Ariz., according to a Feb. 26 Air Force release. The cause of the accident remains under investigation. During his 16-years of military service, Gavulic deployed 10 times to Iraq and Afghanistan where he earned three Bronze Star Medals, two Air Force Commendation Medals, two Joint Service Commendation Medals with Valor, and an Army Commendation Medal, states the release. He is survived by his wife and six children. “We talked frequently of the responsibilities we hold as husbands and fathers. Those were the roles he held most dear. I loved him for that and he personified qualities that I strive for,” said Lt. Col. John Traxler, 17th STS commander. He added, “The 17th special tactics community should be focused on the wealth of things that he taught us through his work, his home life, and his actions. [We should focus on] living our lives in a manner worthy of his legacy and his values.”
For 30 days in April and May, a group of expeditionary communications technicians got together at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, with one task: Find a way for the F-35 to transfer data on remote or contested Pacific islands.