SUMTER, S.C. — Shaw Air Force base is saying one of their airmen has died, at least the fourth death on the base this year.
20th Fighter Wing Commander Col. Derek O'Malley confirmed in a post on the base's Facebook page Wednesday the news, saying the person passed away Tuesday. "We lost another airman yesterday," he said. "I can't believe it."
He did not reveal the name of the airman, or any of what caused the person's death. But he did call for people stationed at the base to pull together in this difficult time, and said some things need to be done in the wake of the death.
"We're not going to solve this by talking those words have to translate into action. The more I think about it There is no one thing we can do to solve this. But there are thousands of things we can do to help. And that's where I want us to focus."
This is at the fourth death on the base in 2019 that's been revealed. One Shaw Airman was found dead 20 miles from the base back in May. Two more died of health complications within two weeks of that death.
"Remember that we're all on the same team and that there is a family that is really hurt right now," O'Malley said. "And that's certainly where our focus is going to be and we appreciate it if that's where your focus is as well."
O'Malley said there will be resilience tactical pause soon, which is typically a one-day halting of base activities to have discussions. He did not give a date for when that would happen. He also called on people to speak up.
"I hope you feel comfortable speaking up, giving us feedback on what we need to do differently at Shaw and across our Air Force that dialogue had to keep happening," he said.