A former Citadel cadet is among four Air Force officers killed over the weekend in a plane crash in the East African nation of Djibouti, the school said today.
Air Force Capt. Ryan P. Hall, Class of 2004, was killed Saturday while on deployment for Operation Enduring Freedom, the school said.
Hall, 30, was a U-28A utility pilot on his seventh deployment overseas when the aircraft crashed near Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti.
"He was incredibly outgoing, fun, sarcastic, liked to hang out, did not matter who with or where," said former Citadel roommate David Barrett said. "He's my best friend – there's not one thing I will remember that I can narrow down to. I will remember a lot."
Media reports and information from the Department of Defense and the U.S. Africa Command said the aircraft went down during a routine intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission.
Camp Lemonnier is the only U.S. military base in Africa. The base is home to the U.S. Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, which has played a role in counter-terrorism and counter-piracy operations.
Hall, originally from Colorado Springs, Colo., and the other three men killed were all U.S. Air Force personnel from the Hulburt Field military base in Florida, The Citadel said on its website. He had been assigned to the 319th SOS at Hurlburt Field since 2007 and had more than 1,300 combat flight hours.
Hall entered the Air Force in 2004 after receiving his commission and a history degree from The Citadel.
Funeral arrangements for Hall are pending.
Hall is the 16th alumnus of The Citadel and third member of the Class of 2004 to die in action associated with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.