JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas —
Members of the 99th Flying Training Squadron recently honored the memory of a fallen comrade on the seventh anniversary of his death.
On April 27, 99th FTS members gathered in the Freedom Flyer hallway of Hangar 12 to pay tribute to Maj. Jeff “Oz” Ausborn, who was killed that same day in 2011 in Kabul, Afghanistan, when a shooter opened fire at the Kabul International Airport, killing eight Airmen and one American contractor.
During the event, squadron members held a roll call for NATO Air Training Command Afghanistan, NATC-A NINE.
Lt. Col. Jason Powell, Air Education and Training Command deputy director for safety, shared his connection to that tragic day and his remembrances of Ausborn.
“I was a T-1 pilot at Columbus when I was tasked with the deployment,” he said. “I had been through the 99th FTS here at Randolph and I had the opportunity to meet Maj. Jeff Ausborn on more than one occasion. I was in the first group to arrive immediately after the attack. The squadron was still in a state of shock and everyone was trying to rebuild the trust with our trainees. I ended up in his bunk and gathered some of his items to ship home after the incident. Oz always made people around him smile and he was pleasant no matter where he was.
“Every day we walked from the NATO base past the Afghan building where this happened,” Powell recalled. “I had meetings in the same room. For the longest time, the bullet holes remained in the building.
“We lost great Americans that day,” he said. “I will continue to host this event as long as I can to ensure the next generation remembers the sacrifices of those who came before them. Maybe they can carry the torch.”
Lt. Col. Jonathan Elza, 560th FTS commander, gave a final toast at the end of the NATC-A9 roll call.
“Let us not forget all our comrades who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and for the families they have left behind … to those who have gone before,” he said.
Ausborn was a native of Gadsden, Alabama. He was deployed to the 438th Air Expeditionary Wing where he served as a C-27 instructor pilot to new Afghan pilots. He was a senior pilot, logging more than 2,300 hours in both airlift and trainer aircraft, to include the T-37B, T-44, C-130E, T-6A, T-1A and C-27. He is survived by his wife, Suzanna; his five children, Emily Ausborn, Eric Ausborn, Shelby Ausborn, Mitchell Maloy and Summer Maloy; and his parents, Clifford and Faye Ausborn.