Ruiz, Sartain Remembered by Defenders, Senior Leaders
By Mark Wyatt
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs
10/19/2015 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, MA
More than 1,000 people attended a memorial service on base today to honor and remember two Hanscom Airmen killed earlier this month when the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft they were on crashed shortly after takeoff from Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
Senior Airman Kcey E. Ruiz, 21, of McDonough, Georgia, and Senior Airman Nathan C. Sartain, 29, of Pensacola, Florida, were members of the 66th Security Forces Squadron.
During the service, colleagues took time to remember them personally.
“If you were blessed to be his friend, then you had an incredible person in your life, one who leaves us with a legacy we will never forget,” said Staff Sgt Lee Shortell during his remarks on Sartain.
Shortell, who was Sartain’s supervisor, added that there were very few people he knew “whose focus on the mission and pride in their work came anywhere close to Sartain’s.”
Staff Sgt Derek Smiling, who spoke about Ruiz on behalf of Tech Sgt Matthew Marquart, said she was an “amazing troop.”
“Kcey Ruiz, you were not only my troop, my sisterin-arms, but you were my friend and you are my hero,” Smiling read. “I can proudly say, Kcey, you changed me. She made me a better person, changed the way that I am as an NCO, as a supervisor and as a human being.”
Also recalling the two Airmen was the installation commander.
“These two defenders embodied the character, honor, dedication and sacrifice of true heroes,” said Col Michael A. Vogel, installation commander. “I could not be more proud and humbled to stand here today as Nate’s and Kcey’s base commander.”
Ruiz and Sartain were deployed to the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing in Afghanistan as Fly Away Security Team members as part of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.
At their home station here, both were installation entry controllers and also armorers.
“On behalf of all the men and women of the 66th Security Forces Squadron, I can tell you how proud we all are of Kcey and Nathan’s exemplary service, friendship and defender kinship,” said Maj Joseph Bincarousky, 66th Security Forces Squadron commander, to the families of the fallen Airmen. “They will always be a part of this family, and your families will always have a place in our hearts.
Senior Airman Wilyaveh Cruz-Santiago, right, reads Senior Airman Nathan Sartain’s biography during a Memorial Service for Sartain and Senior Airman Kcey Ruiz at the Aero Club Hangar Oct. 16, while Staff Sgt. Lee Shortell looks on. At the Memorial Service, colleagues remembered the two fallen security forces Airmen killed Oct. 2 when the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft they were on crashed shortly after takeoff from Jalalabad, Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Linda LaBonte Britt)
The Voices of Hanscom, from left to right, Michael Fields, Stacey Jones, Maj. Catherine Tobin and Andie Avram, perform the National Anthem on stage during a Memorial Service at the Aero Club Hangar Oct. 16. The Memorial Service was held to honor and remember Senior Airman Nathan Sartain and Senior Airman Kcey Ruiz, who were killed Oct. 2 when the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft they were on crashed shortly after take-off from Jalalabad, Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Linda LaBonte Britt)
Ruiz was born July 9, 1994. Her military career began April 16, 2013, with her enlistment in the U.S. Air Force as a security forces specialist. She is survived by her mother, Kyhia Ruiz; father, Michael Ruiz; and sister, Maya Ruiz.
Sartain was born March 29, 1986. His career began April 29, 2013, with his enlistment in the U.S. Air Force as a security forces specialist. He is survived by his wife, Lana Paulley; stepdaughter, Alexia Paulley; father, retired U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class Phillip Sartain; and mother, Janice Sartain.
Their awards include the Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal posthumously.
The Airmen were also posthumously presented the Air Force Commendation Medal by the 66 SFS commander.
The message, “Honoring our Heroes, Healing our Hearts,” was provided by Chaplain (Capt) Jerry St. Pierre.
“The loss of our heroes has helped us to put life in its proper perspective,” he said. “The news of Senior Airman Sartain and Senior Airman Ruiz’s passing struck at the soul of Hanscom Air Force Base.”
Vogel extended his thanks to the community for the tremendous amount of support the base has received.
Maj. Joseph Bincarousky, 66th Security Forces Squadron commander, posthumously presents Senior Airman Nathan Sartain and Senior Airman Kcey Ruiz the Air Force Commendation Medal during a Memorial Service at the Aero Club Hangar Oct. 16. The service was held to honor and remember the two Airmen killed Oct. 2 when the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft they were on crashed shortly after take-off from Jalalabad, Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jerry Saslav)
“The outpouring of love and support from across the nation, our Air Force family and the local community has been humbling, encouraging and deeply touching,” he said.
Among the local dignitaries on hand were Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services Secretary Francisco Urena, U.S. Congresswoman Katherine Clark and representatives from other members of the congressional delegation along with local selectmen.
Members of the U.S. Air Force Band provided a musical prelude and postlude and the Irish American Police Officers Association Pipe and Drum Band played “Amazing Grace.” Vogel vowed to continue to honor the Airmen’s memory by completing the mission.
“We will not falter, we will succeed,” he said. “And we will always remember our two fallen heroes and those who loved them.”
The SFS commander closed his comments by committing to carry on the security forces mission.
“We must always defend that which is worth defending, and those who are in need of defending,” he said. “And we will take the reins and slack in your absence, and continue to drive the mission home.”
Added Note: AFSFA was present at the memorial service and provided the surviving family members a mounted beret and Fallen Defender coins. The family and unit members have also been provided copies of the current AFSFA Security Forces Magazine. AFSFA is currently preparing black granite plaques for the unit to display.
Defender Aids Local Cop in Arrest
By Staff Sgt. Marissa Garner, 37th Training Wing Public Affairs, October 08, 2015
As a service member, one knows there are truly no duty hours, as you are on call 24 hours a day, if needed. One security forces apprentice course instructor took this charge to heart as he assisted a local officer with arresting an aggressive suspect.
While driving home after work on Sept. 22, Tech. Sgt Daniel Wayt, 343rd Training Squadron Security Forces Apprentice Course instructor, saw a San Antonio police officer attempting to subdue a suspect, but was in distress. Wayt, concerned for the safety of the officer, turned his vehicle around to provide assistance. “I saw the officer using his baton, attempting to subdue the suspect, but the suspect was hitting the officer in the face,” said Wayt, who has been a security forces defender for 13 years.
“The officer was able to get the suspect on the ground by the time I could turn around, but you could tell that the suspect was not going to go down easily.”
Using his training acquired as a defender, the Cambridge, Ohio, native helped calm the suspect, after pressing on pressure points to disable him temporarily. While he and the officer were able to handcuff the individual, the situation was not over yet as they noticed a bystander who was getting close to them.
“From that point, I told the bystander to either get down or get back,” Wayt said. “Later we found out that he was the suspect’s cousin, so the situation could have been extremely bad for the officer if he had decided to get involved.”
After another squad car arrived on scene, Wayt went to check on the officer and see if he was ok. “The officer was understandably really worked up, but told me that before I got there, he had been fighting with the guy for more than three minutes,” he said. “Three minutes in a fight for your life is very daunting on any human body. He told me he didn’t know why I stopped, but he thanked me and told me he owes me a big one.”
Upon properly arresting the suspect and reading him his rights, the SAPD officers ran the suspect’s name through the system and found he had three felony warrants out for his arrest. Realizing this, Wayt further understood why the suspect was behaving so erratically and aggressively and knew he helped stop a potentially tragic situation. “It wasn’t about trying to be recognized or anything,” he said. “The reason I stopped is that with me being security forces, if I was in a confrontation with someone one-on-one and I wasn’t winning or I was in distress, I would want someone to help me too. Here at the Security Forces Academy, we impart to Airmen that the ideal situation is two officers for every suspect. This officer was at a disadvantage.”
The ever-humble Wayt, who stands more than six feet tall, doesn’t speak about the incident as if he saved the officer, but more so as a reminder to himself that he has a duty to help people, whether it be on or off base and whether it’s convenient or not.
“My husband is a very good man with a lot of integrity,” said Wayt’s wife, Mindy. “I wasn’t surprised when he told me what happened. Our joke about it is that he got to arrest the guy, but I got to clean up the mess.”
The mess, which was the blood of the suspect, speaks to the seriousness of the altercation. While attempting to fight the officer, the suspect fought so hard that by the time Wayt arrived on the scene, he had fought his way out of his clothes.
Mindy, who is accustomed to hearing some of the stories about the incidents her husband has been involved in, says he is dedicated to helping people and to his job, mentioning that he was awarded Airman of the Year while stationed in the Netherlands.
“I remember him having to chase someone on foot for stealing thousands of dollars’ worth of razors from the commissary,” she said with a laugh. “People do strange things, but I know Daniel is out there doing his job to the best of his ability. It’s just what he does.”
Back at the security forces schoolhouse, Wayt continues to teach hand-to hand combative techniques to students, knowing that one day, they might need to use the skills to save their own, or someone else’s life. He hopes they take it serious enough to know how to step in, when needed.
“As a defender, you don’t know who you’re going to be getting into an altercation with,” he said. “You have to be there and be able to help someone in need, because you will hope that when you need it, someone will be there for you.”
AFSFA Chapter Awards Program Begins!
Encouraging Excellence by Recognizing Superior Performance
By Jim Saulnier, Vice President
”AFSFA has some outstanding work being accomplished by our chapters every day. In an effort to recognize their efforts AFSFA has begun a Chapter Recognition Program where every year the Regional Directors and Board of Directors will select the Best
Chapter of the Year and a Runner-Up. Along with bragging rights the two selected chapters will have their chapter’s name engraved on a permanent traveling plaque, be awarded their own guidon to keep and display at chapter meetings and other events and will have their name on the AFSFA web site.
Chapter Chairmen and Regional Directors were emailed the program this week and chapters can begin assembling their submission packages for the 2015-2016 period now.
For more information review the policy letter at: http://afsfaonline.com/index.php/members/member-documents/120-afsfa-chapter-recognition-policy-statement