Fallen Defender honored with boat dedication

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — The 96th Security Forces Squadron christened a new patrol vessel in honor of Senior Airman Nathan Sartain, a fallen defender at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, Feb. 24, 2017.

Sartain, a Pensacola native, was a member of the 66th Security Forces Squadron, from Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts, and died Oct.2, 2015, when a C-130J Super Hercules crashed shortly after takeoff from Jalalabad Airfield in Afghanistan.

The new patrol vessel, Sartain-20 was christened by his mother, Janice Sartain, while his father unveiled the name on the side of it.

“I am so honored to have been a part of this ceremony and that Nathan’s Air Force family thought to honor him in this way,” she said.

Also in attendance was Sartain’s friend, Staff Sgt. Travis Jones, a 96th SFS member, whom was stationed with Sartain before his death.

“I am privileged to be a part of this ceremony and to be stationed at a base that found a way to honor a fellow defender,” Jones said. “From here on out, when I hear the call sign Sartain-20, it will always remind me of Nathan.”

The new marine vessel will provide waterborne deterrence, detection and response to any threat against the base. Its area of responsibility will be the 153 miles of shoreline that make up Eglin Main, Camp Pinchot, Weekly Bayou and Ben’s Lake Marina.

It joins another security forces vessel, the Nathan-25, also named after a fallen defender, Senior Airman Jason Nathan, who died in Iraq in 2007.