Shaw AFB airman who was found deceased identified as crew chief

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. R. Scott Williams, commander of Continental U.S. NORAD Region-1st Air Force, receives an F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet preflight brief from Senior Airman Zachary Townsend, a crew chief assigned to the 169th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Sept. 6, 2016. Lt. Gen. Williams is visiting the South Carolina Air National Guard, 6-7 September, to fly and train with Swamp Fox pilots from the 169th Fighter Wing. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Edward Snyder)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. – Staff Sgt. Zachary Townsend, a dedicated crew chief assigned to the 495th Fighter Group was found deceased in his off-base residence Jan. 15, 2018 near Columbia, South Carolina.

Townsend served in the Air Force nine-and-a-half years, since July 15, 2008.

“We are brokenhearted to have lost a valued member of our team,” said Col. Michael Dean, 495th FG commander. “The 495th FG considers itself a family and this loss is felt by each of us deeply. Our condolences are with all those who grieve with us during this time of tragedy.”

Then Senior Airman Zachary Townsend (center) at a military function in 2016. (Facebook)

The 495th FG is supported administratively by the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C.

While no foul play is suspected, this incident remains under investigation by the Richland County Coroner’s Office.

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