Rescue wing honors Khobar Towers fallen during ceremony

  • Published
  • By 920th Rescue Wing Public Affairs
  • 920th Rescue Wing

920th Rescue Wing Airmen, Team Patrick, family, and friends gathered here June 21 to honor 19 Airmen killed in a terrorist attack 26 years ago known as the Khobar Towers bombing.

The Khobar Towers bombing of 1996 was a terrorist attack on a U.S. Air Force housing complex in the town of Khobar, near Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on June 25, 1996. The individuals identified as members of Hilzballah Al-Hijaz drove a tanker truck packed with 5,000 pounds (2,268 kg) of explosives near the complex and then jumped into waiting vehicles, escaping just before detonation. The explosion, which was so loud that it was heard some 20 miles away, left a crater 85 feet wide and 35 feet deep.

In all 19 U.S. Airmen and one Saudi national were killed and 372 of many nationalities were wounded. Several of the wounded were members of the 920th RQW.

Among the 19 lives lost, five of them served at Patrick Space Force base:

Master Sgt. Michael G. Heiser

Staff Sgt. Kevin J. Johnson

AIC Justin R. Wood

Capt. Christopher J. Adams

Capt. Leland T. Haun

A permanent memorial is located on Patrick Space Force Base just outside of the 920th RQW headquarters. During the ceremony a wreath was placed at the granite memorial dedicated to the 19 Airmen who selflessly lost their lives in service. The ceremony concluded with a 39th Rescue Squadron HC-130J Combat King II flyover and the rendering of a traditional salute by the tipping of their wings in honor of the nineteen.