Tinker Airman killed in Afghanistan

  • Published
  • By By Darren D. Heusel
  • Tinker Public Affairs
A staff sergeant assigned to Tinker Air Force Base was one of four Airmen who were killed Saturday supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, the Department of Defense announced earlier this week.

Staff Sgt. Daniel N. Fannin, 30, of Morehead, Ky., died near Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, in the crash of an MC-12 aircraft. The cause of the crash is under investigation; however, initial reports indicate there was no enemy activity in the area at the time of the crash.

Sergeant Fannin was a Sensor Operator assigned to the 552nd Operations Support Squadron at Tinker. He joined the Air Force on Aug. 28, 2001 after graduating high school in Morehead, Ky.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Sergeant Fannin, and to the families of the other Airmen who were lost," said Lt. Col. Joshua Conine, 552nd OSS commander.

"We never like to lose a brother or sister, and that's what Sergeant Fannin was to the men and women of the 552nd Operations Group," Colonel Conine added. "However, we have faith knowing he was the best at what he did. He will be sorely missed as a friend and squadron mate."

During Sergeant Fannin's 11 years of service, he has served as an E-3 Air Surveillance Technician as well as a MC-12 Sensor Operator. While in Afghanistan, Sergeant was assigned to the 361st Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron as a member of the 451st Air Expeditionary Wing at Kandahar Air Base.

He was qualified as an instructor Air Surveillance Technician. Prior to his most recent operations assignment, Sergeant Fannin served with distinction in the 960th Airborne Air Control Squadron at Tinker.

Sergeant Fannin was an experienced instructor in the E-3 "Sentry" Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft.

Among his many awards were the Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster and the Air Force Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster.

He is survived by his wife of Oklahoma City.

Sergeant Fannin completed three deployed tours as an E-3 AWACS Air Surveillance Technician and MC-12 Sensor Operator. He was well known and respected throughout the 552nd Air Control Wing.

"From my personal interactions with Sergeant Fannin over the past 11 years, he was extremely proud to serve his country and went about his tasks each day with the utmost regard for excellence," Colonel Conine said.

The mission of the 552nd OSS is to prepare and provide training, resources and support functions to the 552nd Operations Group through integrated combat focus to execute 24/7 airborne battle management/command and control when called upon by combatant commanders.

The 552nd ACW personnel and aircraft provide all-weather surveillance and communications needed by commanders of U.S. and NATO air defense forces to detect, identify, and track fixed-wing aircraft, maritime surface vessels, and to direct friendly aircraft against the enemy before they release ordnance against friendly forces.

The 552nd ACW has had a continuing presence in the region since 1980.

Others killed in the crash were: Capt. Brandon L. Cyr, 28 of Woodbridge, Va.; Capt. Reid K. Nishizuka, 30, of Kailua, Hawaii; and Staff Sgt. Richard A. Dickson, 24, of Rancho Cordova, Calif.

The MC-12 is a medium- to low-altitude, twin-engine turboprop aircraft. Its primary mission is providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to support ground forces.