Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
William “Bill” ” Posch, MSgt., USAF (Fallen)October 30, 1981 – March 15, 2018
Master Sergeant. William Posch was born in Mt. Holly, NJ on Oct. 30th, 1981 (“Mischief Night” just before Halloween!). He gave his life for his country on March 15, 2018 at the age of 36 years, 5 months.
He was baptized in the Lutheran Church in Brant Beach, NJ. His father was a contractor in New Jersey but moved the family to Palm Beach Gardens in Florida when Bill was five years old. They mainly lived in Jacksonville, FL, where he graduated from Duncan B. Fletcher Senior High School in Neptune, FL. Master Sergeant Posch lettered in cross country, swimming, track and field and lifeguarded for Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue. While in high school he volunteered over 300 hours for the American Red Cross Volunteer Lifesaving Corps. He continued to be a member all his life, totaling over 1200 hours volunteered for the American Red Cross, “Lifeguards without borders”, and Project Ecuador.
Master Sergeant Posch entered the Air Force in 2000 through Air Force Basic Military Training at Lackland AFB, TX. In September of 2003 he graduated from the USAF Pararescue Apprentice Course, Kirkland AFB, NM. He is a combat veteran that has participated in numerous joint special operations missions and tactical deployments to include operations: Iraqi Freedom (2003-2006), Enduring Freedom (2003-2014), JTF Katrina (2005), and JTF NASA Space Shuttle launch and recovery (2006-2010).
After six years, Bill left the service and worked for private contractors in the security field overseas, but his life calling was the U.S. Armed Forces and he rejoined the Air Force and ended up at Patrick Air Force Base here in Brevard County and served in the 308th Rescue Squadron.
ASSIGNMENTS: 1. Jul 2000 – Sep 2003, Pararescue Apprentice/Pipeline Course, Kirkland AFB, NM 2. Sep 2003 – Jul 2006, Pararescue Journeyman, 38th Rescue Squadron, Moody AFB GA 3. Jul 2008 – Apr 2010, Pararescue Journeyman, Traditional Reservist, 308th Rescue Squadron, Patrick AFB, FL 4. April 2010 – 2018, Pararescue Craftsman, AGR, 308th Rescue Squadron, Patrick AFB, FL
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS • Lieutenant General William H. Tunner Crew Award, for “The Most Outstanding Strategic Aircrew in the Air Force” • Air Force Air Medal with one silver oak leaf cluster • Air Force Commendation Medal (with valor) • Air Force Achievement Medal • Meritorious Unit Award • Air Force Outstanding Unit Award • Air Force Good Conduct Award • Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal • National Defense Service Medal • Afghanistan Campaign Award • Iraq Campaign Award • Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal • Global War on Terrorism Service Medal • Humanitarian Service Medal • Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border • Air Force Longevity Service • Air Force Expert Marksmanship Ribbon • Air Force Training Ribbon • NATO Medal
He was known as an Air Force Superman; the “Ultimate Sheepdog Protector” and the loudest voice in a loud room!
Master Sergeant Posch enjoyed surfing and teaching his sons all kinds of activities.
He is survived by his mother, Suzyn Posch; Cameron Mico and his sons, Jackson William and Kai Caleb Posch.
Honors will be conducted immediately following this service at Florida Memorial Gardens on U.S. 1 (Viera Blvd. east to US 1 south for 1 mile).
A memorial service will be held at Patrick Air Force Base next week to honor the two Air Force Reserve airmen killed in a military helicopter crash March 15 in western Iraq, according to the 920th Rescue Wing.
Master Sgt. William Posch, 36, and Staff Sgt. Carl Enis, 31, were part of the 308th Rescue Squadron assigned to Patrick Air Force Base. Both were among the seven combat search and rescue airmen killed when their HH-60G Pave Hawk crashed during an operation near the Syrian border.
Department of Defense officials said the crash remains under investigation but did not appear to be the result of any enemy combatant activity.
Patrick officials said the memorial service will take place on the base at 2:33 p.m. March 27, in Hangar 750. The time will mark the moment the crash took place in Iraq on March 15.Services will be closed to the public, officials said.
A combat search and rescue airman originally from Jacksonville Beach who died along with six other service members when their helicopter crashed in western Iraq last week is being remembered as a hero.
U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. William R. “Bill” Posch, 36, of Indiatlantic, Fla., and the others died when their HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter crashed late Thursday near the Syrian border. The cause of the crash remains under investigation, according to the U.S. Department of Defense, which released the names Saturday.
Also killed in the helicopter crash were: Staff Sgt. Carl P. Enis, 31, of Tallahassee; Capt. Andreas B. O’Keeffe, 37, of Center Moriches, N.Y.; Capt. Christopher T. Zanetis, 37, of Long Island City, N.Y.; Master Sgt. Christopher J. Raguso, 39, of Commack, N.Y.; and Staff Sgt. Dashan J. Briggs, 30, of Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.
Posch and Enis were Air Force Reserve pararescuemen assigned to the 308th Rescue Squadron at Patrick Air Force Base, located between Satellite Beach and Cocoa Beach in Brevard County.
The squadron is composed of elite “Guardian Angel Airmen” respected as highly trained rescue specialists — on and off the battlefield. They provide life-saving trauma care, as well as search and rescue as part of the 920th Rescue Wing, which is one of the most deployed units in the Air Force Reserve.
Friends payed tribute to Posch in numerous public Facebook posts.
“RIP Bill Posch, your service to our country has been honorable and will be appreciated,” one Atlantic Beach friend posted.A fellow airman said of Posch:
“America lost a real warrior, special operator, coach, father and friend. Most knew Bill Posch as the snake eating warrior but I will forever remember coaching our boys with Bill and seeing him come to practice after working all day, encouraging everyone … Brother you will be missed. It was an honor to know you and serve with you.”
Gov. Rick Scott is ordering flags to be lowered statewide to honor the memory and sacrifices of Posch, Enis and their fellow armed service members. Details of when the flags will be lowered had not been finalized Sunday.
Scott issued a statement Sunday honoring the seven servicemen.
“The loss of Master Sgt. William R. Posch, Staff Sgt. Carl Enis and their fellow armed service members is devastating,” Scott said. “The deaths of these brave men serve as a solemn reminder of the sacrifice and commitment made by our nation’s military to secure and protect the freedom we all cherish as Americans.”
The governor also noted that he and his wife, Ann, know Enis’ family personally.
“We grieve with them today. I ask that every Floridian pause to remember Master Sgt. William R. Posch and Staff Sgt. Enis and all of those lost in this tragedy,” Scott said.
Posch was considered a hero even before he joined the military.
He was 15 when he and two friends helped save a surfer from drowning after he suffered a seizure in the ocean at Atlantic Beach. Posch also was a lifeguard with the American Red Cross Volunteer Lifesaving Corps headquartered at Jacksonville Beach.
Posch was 17 when he told the Times-Union in 1999 that he wanted to become a rescue swimmer and planned to enlist as soon as he graduated from Fletcher High School.
“I want to go into the military to see what I want to do with my life,” Posch said at the time.Posch was an 18-year Air Force veteran. His decorations included the Air Medal with silver oak leaf cluster; an Aerial Achievement Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal with Valor, according to the Air Force.
Recognized as a highly skilled and brave pararescueman, Posch was named one of the Air Force’s 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year in 2014.
The award noted Posch, then a technical sergeant, “expertly led a crisis evacuation of more than 126 Americans from the U.S. Embassy in the South Sudan capital of Juba.”
He also headed a 23 member team of Airmen during an expeditionary combat deployment, and had provided more than 1,560 hours of Combat Rescue coverage — rescuing 143 people.
The award cited Posch’s proven battlefield experience, coupled with his understanding of the tactical operations, “contributed to his superb design of schematics of a Personnel Recovery Tactical Operations Center, increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of command and control of rescue and recovery operations,” according to the award.
Posch served with the 920th Rescue Wing for the past 10 years. He was credited with with 140 combat rescues. Among his many missions, he assisted in numerous rescue operations in Texas after Hurricane Harvey, as well as participated in a July 2017 long-range sea mission to rescue a pair of stranded German sailors, according to 920th Rescue Wing information.
The other casualties were members of the 38th Rescue Squadron at Moody Air Force Base near Valdosta, Ga., or the New York Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing, based in Westhampton Beach on Long Island.
Although they belonged to three different units, all the airmen were deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, a combined joint task force operation working to defeat ISIS, also known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, according to the defense department.
An accompanying U.S. helicopter immediately reported the crash and a quick reaction force comprised of Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition members secured the scene, the defense department said.
Enis and Posch were both serving in combat roles like they have on multiple overseas deployments during their Air Force careers.
Col. Kurt Matthews, 920th Rescue Wing commander, described the men as true heroes in an email Friday announcing the casualties.
“No words can heal the pain from the loss of these true American heroes,” Matthews said. “You can be proud knowing that MSgt. Posch and SSgt. Enis gave their last full measure performing their mission and serving our most noble Pararescue creed: ‘These things we do, that others may live’.”