Image of the Air Force wings with the museum name underneath

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Staff Sergeant Scott Sather “First There”

USAF Staff Sergeant Scott Sather, a combat controller, was the first Airman killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom on April 8, 2003. As part of the US Air Force’s elite 24th Special Tactics Squadron, Sather served with a Joint Special Operations Task Force alongside members of the US Army’s “Delta Force” and 75th Ranger Regiment.

Sather and his team, along with five Army tanks, were tasked with invading Iraq from the west of Baghdad towards Tikrit in March 2003. They planned to make Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein believe the ground attack would come from the west to keep them from escaping south into Syria.

The diversion worked, and during the next thirty days SSgt. Sather led his team to secure the first five landing zones in Iraq and reported enemy troop movement. While assaulting an enemy objective in Northern Iraq, Sather’s vehicle was hit by direct enemy fire and he was killed.

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