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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Air Force probes death of squadron commander at Qatar base

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Willis was the commander of the 210th Red Horse Squadron, New Mexico Air National Guard at Kirtland Air Force Base.

Lieutenant Colonel James Willis died in a non-combat incident at the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, the US Department of Defence announced on Sunday.

According to the statement, 55-year-old Willis of Albuquerque, New Mexico, died on Saturday while deployed in Qatar as a member of the 557th Expeditionary RED HORSE Squadron.

This is part of Operation Inherent Resolve, which launched in 2014 to fight the rising threat of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria.

His death is currently being investigated, the statement added.

Read also: Qatar, US ink new bilateral military agreement

The deceased military official was the commander of the 210th Red Horse Squadron, New Mexico Air National Guard at Kirtland Air Force Base and was later deployed for missions in Southwest Asia on April 16th.

“The RED HORSE and engineer communities here are mourning the loss of one of our own,” said Colonel Clifford Theony, 1st Expeditionary Civil Engineer Group commander.

“We have put every resource available to supporting James’ friends, family and the unit as a whole during this most difficult time. He was a valued member of our team, and will be deeply missed,” he added.

Located in Qatar, the Al Udeid Air Base is is the biggest American military outpost in the MENA region and hosts at least 10,000 US military members as well as over 100 aircrafts.


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