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Another airman dies in a vehicle accident in Kuwait — second in two days

Another airman has died in a non-combat-related accident on the flightline of Ali Al Salem Air Base in Kuwait.

Staff Sgt. Ronald J. Ouellette, 23, of Merrimack, New Hampshire, died Sept. 14 in a single all-terrain-vehicle accident. The two deaths are unrelated.

Quellette was assigned to the 42nd Aerial Port Squadron, 439th Airlift Wing, out of Westover Air Reserve Base, Massachusetts.

“Ronald was a valued member of the Patriot Wing and there are no words that can heal the pain his loss brings,” said Col. Craig C. Peters, commander of the 439th, in a news release. “We consider every Airman, civilian and dependent part of the team that makes all we do in the defense of our nation possible. The loss of our own, or any service member, is never easy. During this difficult time, our priority is to do all we can to lift and support his family, friends, fellow Airmen in his squadron and loved ones who are struggling.”

Staff Sgt. Ronald J. Ouelette, 23, seen here on deployment, lived in Merrimack, New Hampshire, and was part of the 439th Airlift Wing at Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee, Massachusetts. (Courtesy photo via Westover Air Reserve Base)
Staff Sgt. Ronald J. Ouelette, 23, seen here on deployment, lived in Merrimack, New Hampshire, and was part of the 439th Airlift Wing at Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee, Massachusetts. (Courtesy photo via Westover Air Reserve Base)

Ouellette’s death closely follows the death of another airman at Ali Al Salem, Senior Airman Jason Khai Phan, who died in a non-combat vehicle accident Sept. 12.

Phan, 26, served with the 66th Security Forces Squadron, according to the Hanscom Air Force Base website.

Two other airmen were injured in that incident, according to Air Forces Central. They sustained non-life threatening injuries, AFCENT officials said in a release.

Phan was deployed to the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing’s 386th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron in Kuwait.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and teammates of our two Airmen who we have recently lost,” said Col. Henry Triplett, commander of the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing at Ali Al Salem, in a press release. “These two Airmen were beloved members of our wing and tragically died while serving our nation. While this is an extremely difficult time for our wing, we will continue to lean on and support one another.”

The causes of both accidents are under investigation.

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