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Veteran Profiles


Troy Gilbert

Air Force

Troy Gilbert, 34, of Litchfield Park, Ariz., died Nov. 27 when his F-16C fighter crashed 20 miles northwest of Baghdad, Iraq. He was engaged in support of coalition ground combat operations. Gilbert died flying an air mission to support troops fighting in Anbar province, where many of the country's Sunni-Arab insurgent groups operated. At the time of his death, Gilbert was assigned to the 309th Fighter Squadron, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., and deployed to the 332nd Expeditionary Wing, Balad Air Force Base, Iraq. Major Gilbert was a career military officer with 13 years of service in the United States Air Force. Upon completion of the U.S. Air Force Officer Training School at Maxwell AFB, Ala., he served at RAF Lakenheath, England; conducted pilot training at Sheppard AFB, Texas; and was assigned to the 555th Fighter Squadron at Aviano AB, Italy, before becoming an instructor pilot with the 62nd Fighter Squadron at Luke AFB, Ariz. His career included 130 combat flying hours in F-16 aircraft and he has been posthumously awarded a Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor.

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