The bodies of three members of the 106th Rescue Wing, including Tech. Sgt. Dashan Briggs, a Riverhead native, arrived back home on the East End in a service at the base at Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach Tuesday afternoon.
U.S. Air Force Honor Guard members from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst performed a dignified transfer of the repatriated remains of the 30-year-old special missions aviation specialist who graduated from Riverhead High School.
He was one of four members of the 101st Rescue Squadron who died when their HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter crashed along the Iraq-Syria border near the city of Al-Qa’im on March 15.
Also arriving home to the 106th Tuesday was Maj. Christopher T. Zanetis of Long Island City, a HH-60 rescue pilot and Master Sgt. Christopher J. Raguso of Commack, a HH-60 rescue pilot.
A dignified arrival for Capt. Andreas O’Keeffe, who lived in Center Moriches, will be held at a later date in Tampa, Fl., where his family lives.
The fallen service members arrived in the United States last week at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware before Tuesday’s dignified arrival in Westhampton Beach.
Three other service members were killed in the crash. They were Master Sgt. William Posch, 36, of Indialantic, Fla.; Staff Sgt. Carl Enis, 31, of Tallahassee, Fla.; and Capt. Mark Weber, 29, of Colorado Springs, Colo.
New York Air National Guard Col. Michael Banks, the commander of the 106th Rescue Wing, spoke to the assembled airmen and families, before the fallen members were taken in processions to funeral homes and families in anticipation of their funerals.
The Defense Visual Information Distribution Service posted a video of the service.
Services for Tech. Sgt. Briggs, who was posthumously promoted from staff sergeant, begin Wednesday. Visiting hour will be held at the Westhampton Beach Volunteer Fire Department from 2 to 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. A service will be held Thursday at 10 a.m. also at the Westhampton Beach Volunteer Fire Department. Interment will follow at Calverton National Cemetery.
Top photo caption: U.S. Air Force Honor Guard members from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst performed a dignified transfer of the repatriated remains of Tech. Sgt. Dashan Briggs at the F.S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base on Tuesday. (Photo credit: New York National Guard)