The Navy today released the identity of its three sailors lost after their C-2A Greyhound aircraft went into the drink Wednesday: Lt. Steven Combs, Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) Airman Matthew Chialastri and Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Apprentice Bryan Grosso.
An investigation into the crash is ongoing, the Navy said. The names were released only after the next-of-kin were notified and the search-and-rescue operations were shut down.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these sailors,” said Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer, commander of U.S. Seventh Fleet.
“Their service and sacrifice will be lasting in Seventh Fleet and we will continue to stand the watch for them, as they did bravely for all of us,” he said.
The Navy also provided short biographies of the lost men.
Combs, a native of Florida, was assigned to the “Providers” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30 and embarked aboard Ronald Reagan as part of Carrier Air Wing Five. His previous duty assignments include the “Greyhawks” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 120, the Center for Security Forces Detachment Kittery Point, in Portsmouth, N.H., and Training Wing 4, in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Chialastri, a native of Louisiana, was assigned to Ronald Reagan. His previous duty stations include USS America (LHA 6), Patrol Squadron Thirty (VP-30), the “Pro’s Nest,” in Jacksonville, Fla., and the Center for Security Forces Detachment Kittery Point, in Portsmouth, N.H.
Grosso, a native of Florida was assigned to Ronald Reagan. His previous duty stations include the Naval Air Technical Training Center in Pensacola, Fla., and the Naval Recruit Training Center in Great Lakes, Ill.
Over the course of two days of continuous search efforts for the sailors, ships and aircraft covered nearly 1,000 square nautical miles.
“The thoughts and prayers of the entire team onboard Ronald Reagan go out to the families and friends of our fallen shipmates,” said Capt. Michael Wosje, Commander, Carrier Air Wing Five (CVW 5).
“We are thankful for our professional search and rescue teams and their incredible bravery. The entire Navy team is working together to investigate the cause of this mishap and we will remain focused on our mission to operate forward in a safe and professional manner to ensure peace and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, “Wosje said.
“The C-2A Greyhound, assigned to VRC 30, crashed en route to Ronald Reagan Nov. 22 while operating in the Philippine Sea,” he said.
The aircraft was carrying 11 crew and passengers at the time.
Eight personnel were recovered on scene after the crash by Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC 12).
Locked and Loaded: Pentagon Grants Soldiers in DC Power to use Lethal Force
The National Guard have been authorized to use lethal force, if needed.
Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy has authorized the twenty thousand National Guard members providing security around the U.S. Capitol to carry lethal weapons as Washington, D.C., braces for Inauguration Day.
“On January 12, 2021, National Guardsmen were given authorization to be armed in support of the U.S. Capitol Police to protect the U.S. Capitol and individual members of Congress and their staff,” according to a statement from the D.C. National Guard, which is commanding Guard forces in the city, including units deployed from six other states, to provide security for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week,” the DC National Guard revealed in a statement “This was requested by federal authorities and authorized by the Secretary of the Army.”
The National Guard Bureau declined to specify what weapons troops would carry.
“National Guard members are postured to meet the requirements of the supported civil authorities, up to and including protective equipment and being armed if necessary,” said the statement. “The public’s safety is our top priority.”
Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, told media members on Monday that a force of up to 15,000 will deploy to D.C. with all their issued equipment, including their individual weapons. So if the need arises, “they are close by and they are readily accessible.”
The Pentagon initially authorized up to six thousand two hundred Guard members from Maryland, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania to deploy to D.C. on federal status to maintain security through Inauguration Day.
The history of National Guard members being a part of the presidential inauguration dates back to the first inauguration of President George Washington in 1789.
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