SOUTH CAMP, South Sinai, Egypt—Task Force Sinai held a ceremony to honor and remember the 248 Screaming Eagle Soldiers who perished in an airline crash 37 years ago today.
On Dec. 12, 1985, Arrow Air Flight 1285 crashed shortly after take-off from Gander International Airport in Newfoundland, Canada carrying Soldiers from several military units at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The flight was bringing home the Soldiers following a six-month peacekeeping mission with the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) in the Sinai Peninsula. All Soldiers were attached to the 3rd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team.
“The tragedy of this loss is difficult to put into words, and the pain of their absence endures both for us continuing the mission here, and for their home-station unit at Fort Campbell, Kentucky,” said Col. Randall Wenner, Chief of Staff, MFO.
“These Soldiers shaped this organization during its infancy, as the MFO was less than three years old at the time.
“They were part of the foundation of this organization that has today helped maintain the longest running peace in the Middle East. These are no small feats.”
The ceremony featured a moment of silence, rendering of honors and wreath laying by the Task Force Sinai and U.S. Battalion 71 command teams.
“As years pass, sometimes we tend to forget what happened and it’s very significant to us; being assigned to Task Force Sinai and the MFO, that we honor and remember them – I think it’s our solemn duty,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Demetrius Johnson, Command Sergeant Major of TFS.
“It’s important we don’t forget and that we’re able to communicate that to the family members and loved ones who remain.
“We embrace who we are in this organization, and we know we are following in the footsteps of the groundwork they laid for us, and we hope; I hope, that we honor them well here today.”