Friday, March 24, 2017

Mountain Home Air Force Base member dies while loading bomb onto plane

Staff Sgt. Alexandria Mae Morrow, 25, of Dansville, New York, died in Southwest Asia while she was doing her maintenance duties in support of combat operations. MHAFB officials say she was assigned to the 366th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.

A Dansville native and Air Force member was killed during a deployment to Jordan.

Staff Sgt. Alexandria Mae Gleason Morrow, 25, was killed while performing maintenance duties in support of combat operations. Her mother, Stephanie Gleason, confirms she died while loading a bomb onto a plane. We're told something broke and the bomb slipped.

She was assigned to the 366th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho.

Gleason-Morrow was a married mother of two. Her children are two and four. She graduated from Dansville High School in 2009.

 This was her second deployment. Gleason-Morrow had been in Jordan since October. 

Dansville Central Schools posted this message to their Facebook page:

"The Dansville Central Schools family is saddened to learn of the loss of Airman Alexandria Gleason-Morrow, USAF, DHS class of 2009. Alex lost her life serving our nation while on active duty in Jordan.

"Alex is remembered by classmates as "super-positive, loved by all and a person who would help anyone." She was highly regarded by teachers who recall Alex as a bright, creative and friendly student who had tremendous potential to pursue any interest and career. She was a high achiever who loved art and who established strong relationships with her teachers and classmates. Alex's mixed media piece "Chuck's" has been on display in the DHS main office since her senior year. She had aspired to become an art teacher after concluding her military career.

"In Dansville we honor all service members in life and in death. Alex took the military oath and pledged her life to defend us and the USA. We feel her loss acutely because Alex was such a bright light and she is one of our own. We are here to support her family and friends now and always.

"Alex will remain in our hearts, our prayers and our collective consciousness in perpetuity."

Jessie Negron went to high school with Alex. She says, "It is heartbreaking especially when it is someone you know and went to school with."

Negron went to Dansville High School with Alex. When she heard the news, it was hard to process at first. "She was protecting us; she was over there," Negron says. "It just clicked; it is heartbreaking; she has two kids."

Alex leaves behind a husband and two children ages two and four. While serving her country was one love for her, art was another. In fact, her senior art project still hangs in the main office of the high school.

Outside a new American flag was strung up Thursday for Alex, stopping half way to honor her sacrifice.

The Dansville superintendent says teachers that had Alex in the classroom remember her as a bubbly and positive light that shined every day. "When you look back on the high school, you graduated from and the class you came from you may remember a few people," says Superintendent Paul Alioto. "Maybe folks you didn't know well but they embodied that class. She was one of those kids."

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Brooks City Base’s Reimagined Hangar 9 Turns 100

On the cusp of its 100th birthday, Hangar 9 at Brooks City Base is poised to open a new chapter of its storied life.

Long since retired from the important work of housing “Jenny” aircraft during World War I, the historic wooden hangar will soon embrace a new role as an event space hosting weddings, quinceaƱeras, and more.

The public is invited to come see the lovingly restored hangar at a special ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, March 24 at 5 pm at 8081 Inner Circle Rd.

“There’s something special about this building,” said Leo Gomez, president & CEO of Brooks. “When you are standing in the open space, it’s not hard to imagine the old biplanes and the aviators in their goggles and leather helmets. Our intent with the restoration project was to find a way for the whole community to enjoy this space. We want folks to make new memories here that will endure for generations to come.”

Built in 1918, Hangar 9 is the oldest wooden aircraft hangar of its kind still standing in the original location. Many hangars of its type were constructed as temporary facilities as the United States entered World War I. Around 8,700 sq. ft. and 30 feet tall, the hangars were designed by noted industrial architect Albert Kahn to allow up to eight Curtiss JN-4 “Jenny” aircrafts to be housed at one time.

Hangar 9 was one of 16 structures arranged in a crescent-shaped hangar row at Brooks Field, so named for Sidney J. Brooks Jr., the first San Antonio native to die in a World War I aviation-related accident.

Saved from demolition in the late 1960s and restored through the efforts of the San Antonio community and the U.S. Air Force, Hangar 9 has served as an aviation, aerospace, and aeromedical museum. It was formerly dedicated to San Antonio native and NASA astronaut Edward H. White II, the first American to walk in space and who lost his life in the Apollo I capsule fire.

As the only surviving hangar from World War I, Hangar 9 is a rare and special tribute to the men and women who served in the Great War. It is a San Antonio Historic Landmark, a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, and is listed in the Texas State Historical Survey and the National Register of Historic Places

Restoring the all-wooden hangar took approximately one year and $2.8 million, including foundation and structural repairs, electrical upgrades, installation of new windows and doors, painting and siding replacement, new paving and landscaping, and accessibility improvements.

Hangar 9’s rebirth complements a recently completed $560,000 project to restore the Sidney Brooks gravesite and memorial. The upgraded memorial provides visitors easier access and creates an open-air gathering place with seating and lighting. Together, the gravesite, memorial, and adjacent Hangar 9 building comprise the historic heart of the century-old campus.

Like Hangar 9, the entire Brooks campus carved out a new life for itself after military operations officially ceased in 2011. With a mission to make Brooks an economic engine for the Southside, the former Air Force base opened its doors to developers and employers who could bring high-paying jobs and a great quality of life.

Today, Brooks is a vibrant, mixed-use community of 1,300 acres where people live, work, learn, and play. More than 3,000 people work at the 32 businesses that call Brooks home, including Mission Solar, Mission Trail Baptist Hospital, DPT Laboratories, VMC, Bridge PTS, the City/County Emergency Operations Center, the Brooks Academy of Science and Engineering Charter School, several market-rate apartment communities, and a variety of restaurants and retail stores.

For more information on the Hangar 9 grand opening festivities, please  email

For more information on Brooks, click here

Original article can be found here:

Brooks City Base will break ground today on a $2.8 million project to rehabilitate the nearly century-old Hangar 9, a national historic landmark and the oldest structure of its kind on its original site.

City Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran will join officials of the former Air Force base for a ceremony at 11:15 a.m. The 8,700-square-foot white wooden hangar is next to the Brooks Memorial and Gravesite at 8081 Inner Circle Road.

Brooks, now an open, mixed-use South Side campus covering 1,200 acres, has not had a military presence since 2011. It is named after Sidney J. Brooks Jr., a World War I-era flyer killed in training and buried near the hangar.

Brooks Chairman Manuel Villa said the project is timely, during the centennial of the first world war, and will “protect this important historic treasure.

“By making this investment, we will rehabilitate this building and bring new life to it, so that future generations can begin to make new memories here through family gatherings and celebrations and other community events,” Villa said in a release.

The hangar is the last of 16 built in the infancy of Brooks Field, which evolved as a flight training hub in both world wars and a center for aerospace medicine. The hangars were built as temporary structures in 1918 to each hold several lightweight World War I aircraft for repair or protection from bad weather.

“Since it was just a dirt airfield, all of the squadrons would simply be lined up out here. The hangars were really used not for storage of the planes as much as for maintenance,” John C. “Mac” McCarthy, Brooks vice president of facilities and infrastructure, said during a tour in December.

The Air Force announced its intent in the late 1960s to raze Hangar 9. But the Bexar County Historical Society raised funds to preserve it.

This new rehabilitation effort, financed by Brooks with capital funds, state historic tax credits and tax-free revenue bonds, will include foundation and structural repairs, new windows and doors, painting and siding replacement, in coordination with the Texas Historical Commission. Brooks officials have said they hope to make the hangar available for events next spring.

“Now that the Brooks campus is open and this beautiful hangar is being brought back to life, this will be a cherished location, rich with all kinds of new memories for decades to come,” Viagran said.

The hangar was used in recent years for reunions and other special events before it was closed in 2012. The upgrade follows last year’s completion of a $560,000 renovation of the memorial and grave site where aviator Brooks is buried.

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Health board offers apology after air ambulance sent to wrong island

Health chiefs have apologized to the family of a patient after they sent an air ambulance to the wrong Scottish island.

NHS Grampian wrongly dispatched the aircraft to a hospital in Shetland rather than Orkney.

The health board said the March 17 incident happened as a result of an error in the process of transport arrangement.

As well as apologizing to the patient's family, NHS chiefs also said sorry to colleagues in the Scottish Ambulance Service for what it described as an "isolated mistake". 

An NHS Grampian spokeswoman said: "NHS Grampian would like to apologize unreservedly to the family involved in this incident.

"We would also wish to apologize to our colleagues in the Scottish Ambulance Service.

"Following an initial analysis of the timeline of last Friday's events, it is clear that a member of NHS Grampian staff made an error during the process of arranging transport.

"This led to the Scottish Ambulance Service aircraft wrongly travelling to Shetland.

"We must stress that this is an extremely unusual incident. We have seen nothing to suggest this was anything other than an isolated mistake."

NHS Grampian said it is continuing to investigate further and is in contact with the patient's family to keep them updated. Officials have also offered to meet the patient's family.

The Scottish Ambulance Service said it arrived in Kirkwall, Orkney, after first being sent to Gilbert Bain Hospital in Shetland.

A spokesman said: "We received a request from a member of NHS Grampian staff in Aberdeen at 7:05pm on Friday March 17 to retrieve a patient from hospital in Shetland.

"We dispatched our fixed-wing air ambulance from Aberdeen and it dropped off our team and equipment in Shetland at 9:57pm.

"Shortly after arriving in Shetland, our team was advised that the patient they had been sent to retrieve was actually in Orkney.

"Once we were made aware of the error, our fixed-wing air ambulance returned to Shetland to transfer the team and equipment to Orkney.

"Our aircraft arrived in Kirkwall at 1:44am to retrieve the patient from Balfour Hospital. The patient arrived safely at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital at 4.45am "This is an extremely unusual occurrence and we have been reviewing the circumstances around the initial request with NHS Grampian.

"We have written to the family inviting them to meet with us to discuss the circumstances around the transfer." 

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