Shaw Air Force Base airman dies due to health complication, officials say; 3rd airman death in two weeks

Published: Jun. 3, 2019 at 1:11 PM EDT
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SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. (WIS) - Officials with Shaw Air Force Base confirmed Sunday that a third airman has died in as many weeks, this time due to health complications.

The base confirmed on Sunday that Senior Airman Aaron Hall passed away from health complications on June 1 at approximately 8:47 a.m at a Richland County hospital.

Senior Airman Hall, 30, was assigned to the 20th Component Maintenance Squadron and served as a 20th CMS Electronic Warfare Systems journeyman and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force July 21, 2015.

Hall had been stationed at Shaw AFB since March 1, 2018.

“Aaron was more than just our coworker, he was our teammate and our friend,” said Maj. Jake Schillinger, the 20th CMS commander. “Each of us is feeling the hurt that comes along with such a painful loss. Aaron was the type of Airman who lit up every room he entered with his smile and positive approach to life. He carried such a presence in our squadron and his absence will not go without a great deal of anguish in the coming days, weeks and months. As you can imagine, this has been a heartbreaking week for the 20th CMS. We are grieving alongside all those who loved and cherished Aaron.”

This is the third death of an airman in the last few weeks.

In late May, Jose Llanes, 28, was last seen by his family at his residence on Lynam Road on May 17 in Sumter, according to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office. He was later found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the sheriff’s office later confirmed. Llanes enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served as an aircraft parts store journeyman.

Airman Llanes had been stationed at Shaw AFB since March 2013.

On May 26, 32-year-old Amalia Joseph also died from health complications. Airman Joseph enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 2015 and was stationed at Shaw AFB since April 2016.

Airman Joseph served as an electronics warfare systems journeyman.

Twentieth Fighter Wing Commander Col. Derk O’Malley said in a recent statement that he was suspending PT testing (which involves strict physical and time requirements that must be met) and that an investigation of the deceased airmens’ work environments, as well as the base’s processes, was underway to determine if anything may have contributed to their deaths.

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