July 10, 2015: 96th Test Wing Commander Earns Meritorious Service Medal

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  • 96th Test Wing

The director of the Joint Staff for the Louisiana National Guard, Brig Gen Barry D. Keeling recognized Col Cannon, the 96th Test Wing Vice Commander, for his efforts while acting as commander of Eglin AFB during the March Black Hawk Accident and presented him with the Meritorious Service Medal.

On March 10, 2015, a Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter of the United States Army crashed off the coast of the Florida Panhandle during a training exercise at Eglin Air Force Base,  The helicopter was reported missing during foggy conditions at 8:30 PM.  The helicopter was assigned to the 1-244th Assault Helicopter Battalion in Hammond, Louisiana.

The Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter was on a night training flight when it disappeared.  The Marines on board the helicopter were supposed to be dropped off by the helicopter and make their way ashore to simulate an over-the-beach landing.  They had conducted a similar exercise earlier that day.  The helicopter flew into dense coastal fog and disappeared.  The wreckage was later found in 25 feet of water off the coast of Pensacola.  A later investigation concluded that the cause of the crash was spatial disorientation resulting in the pilots crashing into the Santa Rosa Sound.

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