Loved ones and fellow Reserve Citizen Airmen paid respects as Master Sgt. William Posch, 36, of Indialantic, Florida, was laid to rest with full military honors at Florida Memorial Gardens, Rockledge, Florida, Thursday, June 21.
A seasoned combat veteran, Sergeant Posch served as a pararescuemen assigned to the 308th Rescue Squadron providing combat rescue support for Inherent Resolve when he and seven Airmen were killed in an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter crash in Anbar Province, Iraq, March 15, 2018.
Also in attendance were Maj. Gen. Derek P. Rydholm, Deputy to the Chief of Air Force Reserve, Headquarters U.S. Air Force Washington, D.C.; Maj. Gen. Ronald "Bruce" Miller, 10th Air Force commander; and Chief Master Sgt. James W. Loper, Command Chief both with the 10th Air Force, Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas; as well as the 920th Rescue Wing commander, Col. Kurt A. Matthews and wing leadership.
Patrick AFB flags flew at half-staff while fully military honors were rendered by the Team Patrick Honor Guard at Sergeant Posch’s final internment site to include firing one of three volleys. Pararescue teammates from the 308th RQS folded and presented flags to Posch’s immediate family members.
Posch was one of three Guardian Angel Airmen the pararescue community lost; Capt. Mark Weber, 29, a combat rescue officer assigned to the 38th RQS, Moody AFB, Georgia; and Staff Sgt. Carl Enis, 31, assigned to the 308th RQS.
“It is hard to lose members of your team and your community, but the loss of these warriors will take a long time for us to recover from. Bill was an exceptional leader who did everything in his power to ensure his team was ready for any situation. Bill demanded excellence in everyone around him…a remarkable father, operator and leader, and his legacy will live forever in the squadron!” said Lt. Col. Timothy Hanks, 308th Rescue Squadron commander.
Each Guardian Angel Airmen in attendance followed a time-honored pararescue tradition of pounding the flash from their maroon berets into the lid of the casket. This was followed by the completion of a round of memorial pushups to honor their fallen teammate.
“I’ve been impressed with all the men and women of the 308th who’ve been able to honor their fallen heroes and continue to move on with the rescue mission we all serve,” said Col. Kurt Matthews, 920th Rescue Wing commander. “The greatest tribute to Bill will be how we keep his memory and legacy alive in the ways that we conduct our training, our missions, and ourselves. He helped lead us by example, and still does.”
Posch had 18 years of service, the last 10 were with the 920th RQW.
Posch supported major military operations at home and abroad including Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, Joint Task Force Katrina, JTF NASA Space Shuttle launches and recoveries, and most recently last August JTF Harvey, where he and his fellow rescue warriors rescued 235 hurricane victims in Texas from the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, as well as a long-range rescue at sea saving two German citizens whose sailboat caught fire and sunk a month earlier.
In 2013, Sergeant Posch was recognized as one of the Air Force’s 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year.
Among his decorations were the Air Medal with silver oak leaf cluster; an Aerial Achievement Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal with Valor. He was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal with Combat Device posthumously.