Airman Dies at Balad

SrA. James A. Hansen, has died of wounds suffered during a controlled detonation at JB Balad, Iraq, the Defense Department announced Thursday. Hansen, 25, of Athens, Mich., succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday, according to DOD (see our initial coverage). He was an airfield management operations coordinator with the 46th Operations Support Squadron at Eglin AFB, Fla. “We are deeply saddened by Airman Hansen’s death,” said Lt. Col. David Radomski, 46th OSS commander. He added, “He was a rising star in the Air Force and served his country well. But Jimmy was also a great person who had a positive impact on everyone around him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. He will be sorely missed.” Hansen was one of the roughly 6,000 airmen still in Iraq supporting Operation New Dawn, the advise-and-assist mission that began Sept. 1 with the conclusion of formal US combat operations there. (DOD release) (See also Associated Press report via The Miami Herald.)