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Hero Down: U.S. Air Force Security Forces Sr. Airman Jason Khai Phan Dies In Kuwait

Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait – U.S. Air Force Security Forces Senior Airman Jason Khai Phan died in the line of duty while out on patrol on Sept. 12.

Sr. Airman Phan, 26, was “conducting a routine patrol outside the perimeter of Ali Al Salem Air Base” when the single-vehicle, non-combat related crash occurred, the Department of Defense (DOD) said in a press release the following day.

Two other airmen suffered non-life threatening injuries in the collision, including one who was transported to a hospital at Camp Arifjan, KCBS reported.

Sr. Airman Phan had served with the 66th Security Forces Squadron since October of 2018.

Officials at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts said that he had been deployed to the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing’s 386th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron in Kuwait since July, KCBS reported.

“His squadron was in Kuwait as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S. mission to counter Islamic State in Iraq and Syria,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said of Sr. Airman Phan, a resident of Anaheim.

Sr. Airman Phan was responsible for conducting preliminary criminal investigations, 66th Security Forces Squadron Commander Major Shan Watts said in a Hanscom Air Force Base press release.

He also “rendered emergency first aid and oversaw all integrated defense, policing, investigations, military working dog support and access control” while at Hanscom, and had recently been selected as a military working dog handler, Maj. Watts said.

Sr. Airman Phan was slated to attend K9 handler training at Joint Base Lackland in Texas after he returned to the U.S.

“Senior Airman Jason Phan was an exceptionally noble servant to the nation and his fellow Airmen,” Maj. Watts said in the statement.

“His tireless commitment to master his craft made him a credible and reliable teammate in critical situations. But it was his genuine enthusiasm and selfless devotion to others that defined the depth of his character and inspiration to his peers and leaders,” the major added.

“Jason lived with passion and shared compassion with purpose to everyone,” he said. “He will be sorely missed by the Defenders here, and I’m extremely grateful for and humbled by his service. My deepest sympathy goes out to his family and loved ones.”

Newsom ordered that flags be lowered to half-staff in honor of Sr. Airman Phan’s sacrifice, KCBS reported.

“Our thoughts are with the Phan family and all he touched in his all-too-short life,” the governor added.

Sr. Airman Phan was single and did not have any children, according to Hanscom Air Force Base.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of U.S. Air Force Security Forces Senior Airman Jason Khai Phan, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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