The results of an accident investigation board released Monday found that the death of SrA. Jeremy Jutba-Hake on Dec. 13, 2015, was caused by “atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and coronary artery thrombosis, a heart attack caused by the blockage of several coronary arteries,” according to a Pacific Air Forces press release. Jutba-Hake collapsed while still in the C-130H where he served as loadmaster during an Operation Christmas Drop mission to drop food and supplies to residents of several Micronesian islands. The aircraft and its crew were assigned to the 374th Airlift Wing at Yokota AB, Japan. On the same flight, the crew had implemented emergency procedures before landing at Andersen AFB, Guam, due to “a burning smell throughout the cockpit and cargo compartment.” The investigation found, however, that Jutba-Hake’s death was unrelated to the emergency.
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.