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Airman who died on Guam is identified as Hawaii-based F-22 pilot

By WILLIAM COLE | The Honolulu Star-Advertiser (Tribune News Service) | Published: October 14, 2016

The Air Force identified an F-22 Raptor fighter pilot who died Sept. 23 on Guam as Capt. Jeffrey “Bull” Braden, who was based in Hawaii and in Guam at the time on temporary assignment.

Braden, 28, of San Antonio, Texas, was found unresponsive at San Luis Beach on Naval Base Guam and later pronounced dead at Naval Hospital Guam, according to the 15th Wing at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

The Air Force said the incident is under investigation.

The active duty pilot was with the 19th Fighter Squadron in Hawaii, but was temporarily assigned to Andersen Air Force Base as part of Exercise Valiant Shield.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with, and will continue to be with, Capt. Braden’s loved ones during this incredibly difficult time,” Col. Kevin Gordon, the 15th Wing commander, said in a release. “Capt. Braden was an outstanding officer, fighter pilot, and leader. He will forever be our Air Force brother, and we will continue to offer his friends and family our support.”

A “GoFundMe” request for donations said Braden was found unresponsive in the water at San Luis Beach.

“The Hawaiian Raptor community has lost one of our best — a promising young fighter pilot, a husband, father, brother, son, nonstop comedian, and loyal friend,” the page states, adding he is survived by his wife, Layne, a young daughter and unborn child.

Donations are being collected on a GoFundMe for immediate travel expenses for the family and unforeseen expenses. A total of $84,899 has been raised.

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The Air Force identified an F-22 Raptor fighter pilot who died Sept. 23 on Guam as Capt. Jeffrey “Bull” Braden, who was based in Hawaii and in Guam at the time on temporary assignment.
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