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25th ASOS Airman dies in off-duty vehicle mishap
Senior Airman Alan Bufala, 25th Air Support Operations Squadron Tactical Air Control Party Airman. (Courtesy photo/Released)
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25th ASOS Airman dies in off-duty vehicle mishap

Posted 6/4/2013   Updated 6/7/2013 Email story   Print story

    


by Brig. Gen. Mark D. Kelly
354 Fighter Wing commander


6/4/2013 - EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- Senior Airman Alan Bufala, Tactical Air Control Party Airman with the 25th Air Support Operations Squadron, died June 2 as a result of an off-duty vehicle mishap at Ewa Beach, Hawaii.

The 25th ASOS is part of the 1st Air Operations Support Group under the leadership of the 354th Fighter Wing.

Senior Airman Bufala was stationed at Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii. He was a standout Battlefield Airman amongst a squadron full of outstanding Warriors.

He deployed in 2011 to Regional Command-East, Afghanistan, for a 6-month tour. While engaged in the most kinetic and violent period of his deployment, he volunteered to extend another 6 months.

His Combat performance during numerous firefights led to his selection as Pacific Air Forces' 2011 Radio Operator Maintainer and Driver of the Year and PACAF's nominee for the Losano Award for the USAF's most outstanding TACP member.

I met Senior Airman "Buffy" Bufala at Wheeler AAF in 2012 as we set out with the 25th ASOS Bushmasters for a hike amongst the hills of Leeward, Oahu. Although it was a workout for me, Senior Airman Bufala was rucking with 50 pounds less gear and 5,000 feet less elevation than his Operation Enduring Freedom standard -- so it was a leisurely stroll for him and the other TACP members. He was immensely proud of his profession, his unit, his Air Force and his nation. At age 21, this AF combat veteran possessed natural leadership, talent and maturity beyond his years and rank.

He will be honored at a 25th ASOS/Wheeler AAF memorial on June 10 and buried June 14 at Southern Nevada Veteran's Cemetery with full military honors.

Senior Airman Bufala grew up in an Air Force Family then joined the AF TACP family.

He was an American Airman and a Warrior who answered his Nation's Call. He will be sorely missed.



tabComments
4/3/2014 1:23:01 AM ET
Rest in Peace Bufala aka Buffy. You were a man's man and I really enjoyed not only knowing you but working with you on our deployment in Afghanistan. I'll always remember sitting atop rocket ridge with you while you controlled our fixed wing assets and showed tremendous promise for future success. It breaks my heart to not have you out there on the ground with our fighters but I know you're watching out for us all from above. Charismatic and strong beyond your stature I did then and still do respect you and hope I get to see you again someday. I know the men of my old Rifle Company truly appreciated your hard work and dedication. Rest easy. I'll come pay you a visit next month as I pass by the Hoover Dam and share a beer with you brother.
CPT Michael P. Brabner, Schofield Barracks
 
6/7/2013 3:26:52 PM ET
Buffy I miss you dearly. It's a real shame that because of my deployment I cannot attend your memorial service. You will never be forgotten. You have left a lasting impression on myself as well as everyone you've come in contact with. We all miss you Buffy. Keep it classy up there until we join you.
Andrew Van Horn, Hickam AFB
 
6/5/2013 10:29:24 PM ET
Alan Buffy I am very greatful to God that He allowed me the opportunity to meet you. Thank you for coming into my family's lives and leaving with us some awesome memories. God Bless you sweetie. Your some kind of special.
Veronica Carney, Hickam AFB Honolulu Hawaii
 
6/5/2013 6:55:18 PM ET
Thank You so much for sharing this story. The support we have received from the Air Force has been unbelievable. I know now why my grandson was so proud to be with you.
Carol Bufala, Las Vegas NV
 
6/5/2013 2:01:12 PM ET
Gone but Never Forgotten. Prayers going out to his family and friends. TACP brothers are a special breed of warriors and the AF and the USA are lucky to have them. His loss will be sorely felt by our country and TACP community.
Scar Copelin, Creech AFB
 
6/4/2013 10:20:00 PM ET
I had the opportunity to be one of Buffy's instructors at the TACP School House a few years ago. Everything said about him is true. I especially identify with him because he's one of the little guys and we have to stick together He was an excellent student and he quickly made his mark as an excellent young TACP. This is a tragic loss to his family and this community. Blue Skies buddy.
Peyton, Deployed
 
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