The U.S. Air Force community is mourning the death of a 22-year-old senior airman from Hawaii who had been supporting Operation Christmas Drop 2015 when he collapsed following a training exercise.
The Air Force said Tuesday that Senior Airman Jeremy M. Jutba-Hake collapsed Sunday during post-flight duties at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. He was taken to a hospital and later pronounced dead, The Pacific Daily News reported.
The cause of his death remains under investigation.
The senior airman had been assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron, Yokota Air Base, Japan.
“This is a tragic and sad time for Team Yokota and Team Andersen — we lost a true warrior, a wingman, and our friend,” said Col. Douglas C. DeLaMater, 374th Airlift Wing commander. “Jeremy was a devoted and passionate airman, always ready to go the extra mile to assist others and perform his absolute best.”
Air Force officials said Jutba-Hake had been on duty at the Guam base to support the annual Operation Christmas Drop. This year, Australian, Japanese and U.S. air force planes dropped food and toys on remote atolls in the Pacific as part of the U.S. military’s longest-running humanitarian relief mission.
Jutba-Hake joined the Air Force in December 2011. His awards include the Air Force Achievement Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Small Arms Marksmanship Ribbon, and Air Force Training Ribbon.
“We extend our thoughts and prayers to everyone effected by this sudden and tragic loss of an exceptional airman,” said Brig. Gen. Andrew Toth, 36th Wing commander