Pentagon IDs Airman Who Died in Kuwait Military Vehicle Accident

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Senior Airman Jason Khai Phan, photographed in 2019 as an airman first class, 66th Security Forces Squadron, of Anaheim, Calif., died as a result of non-combat related injuries while conducting a routine patrol outside the perimeter of Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait, Sept. 12.
Senior Airman Jason Khai Phan, photographed in 2019 as an airman first class, 66th Security Forces Squadron, of Anaheim, Calif., died as a result of non-combat related injuries while conducting a routine patrol outside the perimeter of Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait, Sept. 12. (Courtesy U.S. Air Force)

A U.S. service member has died in a non-combat incident at an air base in Kuwait.

The Pentagon on Sunday said that Senior Airman Jason Khai Phan, assigned to the 66th Security Forces Squadron, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., died Saturday in "a single-vehicle, non-combat related accident while conducting a routine patrol outside the perimeter of Ali Al Salem Air Base," according to a release.

Two other airmen were injured in the same accident; both were sent to a medical facility at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, with "non-life-threatening injuries," according to military releases.

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Phan, 26, from Anaheim, California, was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, the Defense Department's campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. According to Hanscom officials, his work while deployed included helping with preliminary criminal investigations, supporting base security, rendering emergency first aid and other base support functions.

He had recently been accepted as a military working dog handler and was supposed to attend the MWD Handler Course at Joint Base Lackland, Texas following his return from deployment. Phan was single and had no children, Hanscom officials said.

"Senior Airman Jason Phan was an exceptionally noble servant to the nation and his fellow Airmen," 66th Security Forces Squadron Commander Maj. Shane Watts said in a released statement. "His tireless commitment to master his craft made him a credible and reliable teammate in critical situations. But it was his genuine enthusiasm and selfless devotion to others that defined the depth of his character and inspiration to his peers and leaders. Jason lived with passion and shared compassion with purpose to everyone. He will be sorely missed by the Defenders here, and I'm extremely grateful for and humbled by his service. My deepest sympathy goes out to his family and loved ones."

The cause of the accident is being investigated.

The Air Force operates alongside the Kuwait air force from the base, roughly 20 miles from the Iraqi border.

According to the Hanscom release, Phan had served with 66th Security Forces Squadron since Oct. 2018, and had been deployed to Kuwait since July.

In August, a Congressman, Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Florida, called on the House Armed Services Committee to investigate a "disturbing rise in deadly training accidents" following a series of vehicle mishaps.

To date in 2020, 11 U.S. troops have died while deployed supporting Operation Inherent Resolve; seven of them died in non-combat incidents.

-- Hope Hodge Seck contributed to this report.

-- Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at oriana.pawlyk@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @Oriana0214.

Related: Soldier Dies in Non-Combat Incident During Kosovo Deployment

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