Vance Air Force Base Graduate One Of 11 Killed In Afghanistan Crash
JALALABAD, Afghanistan - An officer who trained at Vance Air Force Base in Enid was one of 11 people killed in the crash of a U.S. Air Force plane in Afghanistan last week.
Captain Jonathan "JJ" Golden was one of six Airmen assigned to the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing who died when their C-130J cargo plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Jalalabad Airport on October 2, 2015.
Capt. Golden, the co-pilot, was a member of Joint Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training Class 13-07 at Vance. He received his Air Force pilot rating at Vance in April 2013.
Also lost were the pilot Captain Jordan Pierson, Staff Sgt. Ryan Hammond, Senior Airman Quinn Johnson-Harris, as well as Senior Airman Nathan Sartain and Airman 1st Class Kcey Ruiz.
Golden was originally from California and had enlisted in the military before becoming an officer and going through flight training.
Golden, Pierson, Hammond and Johnson-Harris were assigned to the 39th Airlift Squadron, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. Sartain and Ruiz were assigned to the 66th Security Forces Squadron, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts.
Five civilian contractors also died in the crash.
Following primary training at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, Golden completed advanced training with the 3rd Flying Training Squadron at Vance.
Capt. Garrett Riley, a classmate who's still stationed at Vance, said only one thing matter more to Golden than getting his pilot wings - his family.
"When he wasn't in the flight room studying, JJ was at home being an amazing father and husband," he said. "He would honestly give you the shirt off of his back."
The Pentagon said the cause of the crash is under investigation and doesn't believe hostile fire was involved.