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Capt Reid Kijiro Nishizuka - www.OurWarHeroes.org

Reid Kijiro Nishizuka

Kailua, Hawaii

April 27, 2013

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
30 Air Force Capt

427th Reconnaissance Squadron

Beale Air Force Base, California

 Killed near Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, in the crash of an MC-12 aircraft.  The cause of the crash is under investigation, however initial reporting indicates there was no enemy activity in the area at the time of the crash.

Capt Reid Kijiro Nishizuka - www.OurWarHeroes.org Capt Reid Kijiro Nishizuka - www.OurWarHeroes.org Capt Reid Kijiro Nishizuka - www.OurWarHeroes.org

In Memory of
Capt. Reid Kijiro Nishizuka

January 29, 1983 - April 27, 2013

Capt Reid Kijiro Nishizuka, 30, of Kailua, Hawaii died 27 April 2013 in the line of duty, in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Visitation 5:00 p.m., service 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 11th at Central Union Church. Reverend Dr. David Hirano of Central Union Church will be officiating. Burial will be held at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, May 13, 2013. 

Reid was born in Honolulu on January 29, 1983 He graduated from Kailua High School and continued on to receive a Bachelor's Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Notre Dame.

Captain Nishizuka deployed to Afghanistan mid-April and had numerous previous deployments, participating in more than 200 combat missions. He was assigned to the 427th Reconnaissance Squadron at Beale Air Force Base in California. He was a pilot with 2,434 flying hours, more than half of those hours in combat. His military awards included 10 Air Medals, two Air Force Commendation Medals and two Air Force Achievement Medals.

Reid is survived by his parents, father, Ricky (Norene) Nishizuka; mother, Karyn (Dr. Deane) Hatakeyama; brothers, Capt. Chad (Michelle) Nishizuka and Reyn Nishizuka; friend, Xavier Winters; step-sisters, Leinelle Baptista and Lyllis Manzano; nieces, Kiana Young and Genevieve Garcia; nephews, Keoni and Kekoa Young; paternal grandparents, Shizuichi (Masako) Nishizuka; maternal grandmother, Ruth Kushimaejo; uncles, aunts, and cousins.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be given to http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/in-memory-of-reid-nishizuka/57335 . Donations will benefit the Kailua High School Air Force JROTC, the University of Notre Dame ROTC, the USO, and the Friends of the Fallen in Dover, Delaware.

A Memorial Fund was also created through Bank of Hawaii. Those who would like to donate may direct donations to the "Capt. Reid Nishizuka Memorial Fund". Donations can be made at any Bank of Hawaii Branch. Donations will help cover expenses along with establishing a scholarship for Kailua High School Air Force JROTC.

Online condolences: borthwickoahu.com
From Hawaii News Now hawaiinewsnow.com 04/28/13:

Kailua airman one of four killed in Afghanistan plane crash
Posted: Apr 28, 2013 4:21 PM PDT
Updated: Apr 29, 2013 7:33 AM PDT

A Kailua man is one among four airmen who died in a plane crash near Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan Saturday. Reid Nishizuka's family in Hawaii left for Dover Air Force Base in Delaware Sunday night to bring him home.

Butch Galdeira knew Nishizuka, 30, since the 7th grade and shared many fond memories with us.

"He's an incredible man with a humble heart. Full of life and he has an infectious smile. His smile can light up any dim room," he said somberly.

Nishizuka graduated from Kailua High School in 2000. He later earned a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame. His family says he was deployed to Iraq three times and recently left for his second tour of duty in Afghanistan. The 30 year old was assigned to the 427th Reconnaissance Squadron based at Beale Air Force Base in California.

"I was proud of him serving the country, but I was also proud of him enjoying what he was doing. And it was a career he thought he was going to carry through for 20 years," his father, Ricky Nishizuka, said. 

His father last saw him during a visit in March and kept in touch with him daily through the cell phone game "Words With Friends."

"14 hours after what was my turn, and then I sent him the words. Then they came to the door to announce that he died in an aircraft accident. So that was tragic for me," he explained.

Nishizuka was the pilot of an MC-12 Liberty aircraft, according to the Air Force. At the time of the crash, he was with a co-pilot and two sensor operators.

"It's a medium to low altitude twin engine turbo prop airplane. The primary mission is primarily, like I said, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance," Tech. Sgt. Eric Petosky of Beale Air Force Base said.

Nishizuka had two younger brothers. One of them, Chad, is also a captain in the Air Force, who has deployed to Afghanistan twice.

"It's honestly one of those things you think will never happen to me and you go out there and just do your job with no fear. That's why it's so surprising to me that it did happen. You don't expect it," he said.

The two brothers planned to start a business together after their military careers. Now those dreams have been cut short, leaving heavy hearts behind. 

"Just an amazing guy. someone who loved his country and gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country," Galdeira said.

The cause of the crash is under investigation, however initial reporting indicates there was no enemy activity in the area at the time of the crash.

The other three airmen killed in the crash were Capt. Brandon L. Cyr of Woodbridge, Virginia, Staff Sgt. Richard A. Dickson of Rancho Cordova, California, and Staff Sgt. Daniel N. Fannin of Morehead Kentucky.

Copyright 2013 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.
From The Hawaii Reporter hawaiireporter.com 

Flags to Fly at Half-Staff in Honor of Capt. Reid K. Nishizuka

REPORT FROM THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE - As a mark of respect for Capt. Reid Kijiro Nishizuka, Gov. Neil Abercrombie has ordered that the National Flag and Hawaii State Flag be flown at half-staff at all state offices and agencies as well as the Hawaii National Guard on Saturday, May 11, 2013, the day of his memorial service.
“Like so many of our men and women in uniform, Reid chose to serve our nation with honor, and the people of Hawaii are proud of his selflessness and commitment in defense of freedom so far from home,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the Nishizuka and Hatakeyama ohana as we mourn the loss of an island son.”
Born in Honolulu, Nishizuka, 30, graduated from Kailua High School in 2000 and earned an aerospace engineering degree from the University of Notre Dame in 2005.
He entered military service in June 2005 and served as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force with 2,434 flying hours, more than half of that in combat. Capt. Nishizuka was serving with the 427th Reconnaissance Squadron, based at Beale Air Force Base in Northern California, when, on April 27, his MC-12 aircraft crashed near Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, and he was killed along with Capt. Brandon L. Cyr, 28, of Scott Air Force Base, Ill.; Staff Sgt. Daniel N. Fannin, 30, of Tinker Air Force Base, Okla.; and Staff Sgt. Richard A. Dickson, 24, also assigned to Beale Air Force Base.
From Rafu Shimpo rafu.com 05/02/13

AIR FORCE CAPT. NISHIZUKA KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN
POSTED ON MAY 2, 2013

Capt. Reid K. Nishizuka, 30, of Kailua, Hawaii, was one of four airmen who died on April 27 near Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan in the crash of an MC-12 aircraft.

He was assigned to the 427th Reconnaissance Squadron at Beale Air Force Base near Marysville in Northern California, and was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

The cause of the crash is under investigation, but the Department of Defense said initial reports indicate there was no enemy activity in the area at the time.

Nishizuka’s body was flown to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on April 30. Capt. Chad Nishizuka, an Air Force weapons system officer, escorted his older brother back to Hawaii, where a service was planned.

Reid Nishizuka attended Kailua High School, where he joined the Jr. ROTC program. Upon graduation in 2009, he went on to the ROTC program at Notre Dame University in Indiana, studying aeronautical engineering. He entered military service in June 2005 and completed multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nishizuka arrived at Beale AFB in November 2012 and deployed to Afghanistan for the last time this spring.

Gov. Jerry Brown said on April 29 that he and his wife, Anne Gust Brown, honor Nishizuka, “who bravely gave his life in service to our state and nation,” and “extend their deepest condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time.”

Brown ordered that flags be flown at half-staff over the State Capitol, and Nishizuka’s family will receive a letter of condolence from the governor.

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said in a statement, “I join Hawaii and our nation in mourning the loss of Air Force Capt. Reid Nishizuka in Afghanistan, as well as Capt. Brandon L. Cyr, Staff Sgt. Richard A. Dickson, and Staff Sgt. Daniel N. Fannin. Our defense relies on the courage and commitment of individuals like Reid and his compatriots, who stand ready to sacrifice for our nation. Our sadness is tempered by the pride we feel for those who serve. 

“My thoughts are with Capt. Nishizuka’s family and friends as they cope with the loss of a son, brother, and friend who accomplished so much and showed such great promise.”
From Beale Air Force Base beale.af.mil 04/30/15

Base Theater dedicated to fallen Airmen

by Airman 1st Class Taylor A. Workman
9th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs

4/30/2015 - 4/28/2015 - BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Team Beale held a memorial event dedicating the base theater as Independence Hall in remembrance of the four fallen Airmen of the MC-12 Liberty, call sign Independence 08, April 27, 2015. The event marked the two year anniversary of their sacrifice.

Capt. Reid K. Nishizuka, Capt. Brandon L. Cyr, Staff Sgt. Richard A. Dickson and Staff Sgt. Daniel N. Fannin were killed April 27, 2013, when their MC-12 Liberty crashed during a combat operation in Afghanistan.

"The crew of Independence 08 in the quest to uphold freedom, liberty and justice, paid the ultimate sacrifice in their endeavors," said Master Sgt. Ilyas Asaddullah, 306th Intelligence Squadron superintendent. "We will never forget their names, faces, smiles, their leadership and the courage they displayed while acting upon their oaths."

Family, friends, and fellow Airmen gathered at the newly dedicated Independence Hall to mourn, celebrate and remember the lives of the MC-12 crew, followed by a luncheon at the Recce Point Club.

"Freedom comes through the Airman, the Sailor, the Soldier, the Marine, who willingly took an oath to support and defend the constitution of this nation," said Chaplain Michael Goecker, 9th Reconnaissance Wing Chaplain Corps. "Freedom comes from the vigilance of the watchman on the wall, freedom comes from the willingness of these same men and women to take up arms and defend it."

The aircrew contributed to the legacy of project Liberty. All involved with project Liberty protected thousands of American and coalition forces through direct support to operations and aided in the greatest operational success in Operation Enduring Freedom, according to Lt. Col. James Mansard, 69th Reconnaissance Group deputy commander, guest speaker at the event.

The ceremony concluded with the unveiling of a graphical representation of the plaque that will be permanently mounted at the entrance of Independence Hall and an artist's rendering of the memorial that will be in front of Independence Hall.

"As an Air Force family, we all share in the loss," Mansard said. "It is my greatest hope that the families of our dear friends find comfort in the Air Force family that surrounds them here. Today is a day for Team Beale to move forward as our fallen heroes look down upon us."
Hundreds line up to honor airman

The Associated Press

HONOLULU — Hundreds of people lined up to honor an airman who was killed last month when his aircraft crashed in Afghanistan.

Hawaii News Now reported that a C-17 carrying Air Force Capt. Reid Nishizuka's casket arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Thursday. Military officials had put out the word for servicemen and women to be present for his return, and they showed up by the hundreds.

Nishizuka, who was from Kailua, was the pilot of the Air Force MC-12 Liberty aircraft that crashed April 27 near Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan, killing him and three other airmen.

Funeral services will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday at Central Union Church. Burial is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday at the National Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl.

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