HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. (WDTN) – Twenty Special Tactics Airmen will ruck from Medina Annex at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas to Hurlburt Field to pay tribute to Greenville native Master Sgt. William McDaniel and 19 other Air Force Special Tactics Airmen who have been killed in action since Sept. 11, 2001.
McDaniel was one of 10 service members killed Feb. 22, 2002, when his U.S. Army MH-47 Chinook crashed while flying from Basilan Island to Mactan, in the Philippines in support of the Global War on Terror.
The helicopter and crew was supporting United States efforts to train and advise the Armed Forces of the Philippines in their efforts against global terrorism.
Special Tactics Airmen begin training at Medina Annex in Texas, and if lasting the program, graduate at Hurlburt Field in Florida. The march route mimics the training passage Airmen endure. It will take the Airmen across five states and 830 miles.
The march began Feb. 22 and is expected to finish March 4.
Historically, Air Force Special Tactics plan a memorial march when a member is killed in action.This is the fifth Special Tactics Memorial March since 2009 and since it originated as the “Tim Davis Memorial March.”
The march was renamed to honor all fallen Special Tactics Airmen in 2011 to the “Special Tactics Memorial March.”
This march was specifically planned to honor Staff Sgt. Dylan J. Elchin who was killed in Afghanistan on Nov. 27, 2018.
Ten teams will ruck an average of 12 miles per leg and alternate teams. Each day, the teams will ruck a combined 70 miles to complete the 830-mile journey over 11 days.
A memorial baton inscribed with each of the fallen Special Tactics Airman’s names will be carried throughout the way to honor the fallen