The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Cannon airman laid to rest in Virginia


January 27, 2019

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. — More than 350 people attended Thursday’s military funeral for Staff Sgt. Dylan J. Elchin, a Special Tactics combat controller assigned to the 26th Special Tactics Squadron, at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia.

Elchin, along with U.S. Army Capt. Andrew Ross and U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Eric Emond, were killed in action when their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan on Nov. 27 while deployed in support of OPERATION Freedom’s Sentinel.

U.S. Army Sgt. Jason McClary died later as a result of injuries sustained from the IED.

A Hopewell High School, Pennsylvania, graduate, Elchin enlisted in the United States Air Force as a Special Tactics combat controller on Aug. 7, 2012. He immediately entered the two-year combat control training program and upon completion of the pipeline, he was assigned to the 26th STS at Cannon Air Force Base.

Elchin deployed to Afghanistan in August 2018 and was embedded with a U.S. Army Special Operations Force Operational Detachment-Alpha team. His role was to advise the Ground Force Commander, direct close air support aircraft, and deliver destructive ordnance on enemy targets in support of offensive combat operations.

Elchin was a qualified military static line jumper, free fall jumper, an Air Force qualified combat scuba diver, and a qualified Joint Terminal Attack Controller. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal with Valor, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Combat Action Medal, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award, Air Force NCO Professional Military Education Graduate Ribbon, Air Force Training Ribbon and NATO Medal.

Elchin was also a Distinguished Graduate of Airman Leadership School.

As a Special Tactics combat controller, Elchin was specially trained and equipped for immediate deployment into combat operations to conduct global access, precision strike, and personnel recovery operations. He was skilled in reconnaissance operations, air traffic control and terminal attack control operations.

The 26th STS is part of the 720th Special Tactics Group, 24th Special Operations Wing, the only Special Tactics wing in the Air Force.


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