Hundreds of Air Force special operations members gathered last week at Hurlburt Field in Florida to remember Senior Master Sgt. Rick DeMorgan, one of three Americans killed last month fighting the unprecedented wildfires in Australia.

They gathered inside an aircraft hangar as rain fell outside on an AC-130 gunship of the type he flew on as an engineer for 15 years. DeMorgan was on terminal leave, working for a private aerial firefighting firm, when he was killed.

“It was absolutely fitting that he transitioned from flying left-hand orbits and providing protection for ground forces from enemy fire, to low-level flying to protect and serve our Aussie brothers and sisters,” said Senior Master Sgt. Benjamin Buzga of the 4th Special Operations Squadron, where DeMorgan served.

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