Robins AFB officials speak on fallen airmen

WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – All three bodies of the Robins Air Force Base airmen who were swept away at sea in Japan on Sunday have been recovered and identified.

Now commanders of the units where the men served  are speaking out, and say the men were pillars at the base and will be missed. 

“From a 116th standpoint we’ve lost two of our best.”
They’re words that were hard for Colonel Kevin Clotfelter to get out on Wednesday. 
The commander of the 116th Air Control Wing says Senior Master Sergeant James Swartz and Master Sergeant David Pascal worked hard for the wing.
Sentiments Commander Henry Cyr felt exactly.
He’s in charge of the 461st Air Control Wing, where Staff Sergeant Joshua Schoenhoff worked as a flight control systems specialist. 
 
“It’s a challenge for all of our airmen quite frankly,” Cyr said. 
The three men,  along with another airman who was rescued, were swept away at sea from powerful waves from the effects of Typhoon Phanphone in Japan. 
All four were Robins airmen on temporary assignment. 
“They were there in support of the Pacific commanders and the need for the unique JSTAR capability,” Cyr said. 
Now the commanders are reaching out to their staffs.
“It’s a terrible loss and we’ve sat with our airmen in that particular branch and we sat with flight control, and we just want to hear what’s on their heart,” Clotfelter said. 
“I had a chance to talk to a young airman, who’d just been in the Air Force just a few years, who was supervised by this brand new staff sergeant. He’d been a staff sergeant just a few months, and had impacted the life of this airmen, among others, significantly,” Cyr said. 
Cyr says Schoenhoff was a leader, even at his young age, and aimed to make his unit a better place.
“It was an emotional experience for this young man to lose somebody that he looked up to, who was quite frankly still young,” Cyr said. 

A memorial service for Staff Sergeant Joshua Schoenhoff HAS been set up for this Saturday at 11-am at Shirley Hills Baptist Church in Warner Robins. 

 
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