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Rucking to remember Jolly 22

Barry Wall, Occupational Safety and former British Army infantryman,rucks eight miles carrying 56 lbs to raise funds and awareness in memory of the fallen 56th Rescue Squadron HH-60G Pave Hawk crew of Jolly-22, at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Jan. 2, 2020. On Jan. 7, 2014, Capt. Sean Ruane, Capt. Christopher Stover, Tech. Sgt. Dale Mathews and Staff Sgt. Afton Ponce were killed when their helicopter crashed while performing a low-level training mission on the Norfolk coast. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Master Sgt. Matthew Plew)

Barry Wall, Occupational Safety and former British Army infantryman,rucks eight miles carrying 56 lbs to raise funds and awareness in memory of the fallen 56th Rescue Squadron HH-60G Pave Hawk crew of Jolly-22, at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Jan. 2, 2020. On Jan. 7, 2014, Capt. Sean Ruane, Capt. Christopher Stover, Tech. Sgt. Dale Mathews and Staff Sgt. Afton Ponce were killed when their helicopter crashed while performing a low-level training mission on the Norfolk coast. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Master Sgt. Matthew Plew)

Barry Wall, Occupational Safety and former British Army infantryman, Tech. Sgt. Josh Rogers and Staff Sgt. Kacy Huddleston, Weapon Systems instructors assigned to the 372 Training Squadron Detachment 16 ruck eight miles carrying 56 lbs to raise funds and awareness in memory of the fallen 56th Rescue Squadron HH-60G Pave Hawk crew of Jolly-22, at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Jan. 2, 2020. On Jan. 7, 2014, Capt. Sean Ruane, Capt. Christopher Stover, Tech. Sgt. Dale Mathews and Staff Sgt. Afton Ponce were killed when their helicopter crashed while performing a low-level training mission on the Norfolk coast. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. Rachel Maxwell)

Barry Wall, Occupational Safety and former British Army infantryman, Tech. Sgt. Josh Rogers and Staff Sgt. Kacy Huddleston, Weapon Systems instructors assigned to the 372 Training Squadron Detachment 16 ruck eight miles carrying 56 lbs to raise funds and awareness in memory of the fallen 56th Rescue Squadron HH-60G Pave Hawk crew of Jolly-22, at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Jan. 2, 2020. On Jan. 7, 2014, Capt. Sean Ruane, Capt. Christopher Stover, Tech. Sgt. Dale Mathews and Staff Sgt. Afton Ponce were killed when their helicopter crashed while performing a low-level training mission on the Norfolk coast. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. Rachel Maxwell)

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England --

Three members of the 48th Fighter Wing have banded together to raise funds and awareness in memory of the fallen 56th Rescue Squadron HH-60G Pave Hawk crew of Jolly-22. On Jan. 7, 2014, Capt. Sean Ruane, Capt. Christopher Stover, Tech. Sgt. Dale Mathews and Staff Sgt. Afton Ponce were killed when their helicopter crashed while performing a low-level training mission on the Norfolk coast.

Barry Wall, Occupational Safety and former British Army infantryman, along with Tech. Sgt. Josh Rogers and Staff Sgt. Kacy Huddleston, Weapon Systems instructors assigned to the 372 Training Squadron Detachment 16, rucked eight miles a day, carrying 56lbs each over at total of 56 miles between 1-7 January.

“I wanted to do something for my community,” said Wall. “I was part of the safety office during the Jolly 22 tragedy, at the time Capt. Annie ‘Sunshine’ Driscoll was our HH-60 Flight Safety Officer and we were heavily involved in the initial stages of the mishap investigation. I saw how a base and community galvanized in support of the Squadron and it made, and still does, me proud to be a small part of this base.”

Additionally, current members of the 56th RQS assembled their own ruck team to match Wall, Rogers and Huddleston’s fundraising endeavor and promotion of awareness.

“The 56 RQS is humbled and inspired by the effort of our companions at the 48 FW. The loss of Jolly 22 is a weight we all carry with us,” said Lt. Col Bryan Ballestero, 56th RQS assistant director of operations. “The funds raised by Barry Wall, Tech. Sgt. Rogers and Staff Sgt. Huddleston will help lift some of the weight for those families affected.”

The 56th RQS, whose heritage dates back to the early years of the Vietnam War, relocated to RAF Lakenheath in June 2006 from Keflavik, Iceland. During their 12 year stay in the United Kingdom, the squadron was responsible for approximately 600 saves and assists in support of operations before relocating to Aviano Air Base, Italy in May 2018.

“As a family, we remember. We have deep respect for service and sacrifice, for our sisters and brothers, for Jolly 22. As a community, we deeply appreciate the commemoration of Jolly 22,” said Lt. Col Leslie Semrau, 56th RQS commander.