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Airman from Rancho Cordova Killed in Afghanistan Plane Crash

Air Force Staff Sgt. Richard Dickson, 24, was killed in a plane crash Saturday in Afghanistan.

Four people, including a Rancho Cordova resident, were killed Saturday when their U.S. Air Force surveillance plane crashed in Afghanistan.

Rancho Cordova resident Staff Sgt. Richard Dickson, 24, was stationed at Beale Air Force Base and had been deployed as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, according to the Department of Defense.

Also killed were Virginia resident Capt. Brandon L. Cyr, 28, Hawaii resident Capt. Reid K. Nishizuka, 30, and Kentucky resident Staff Sgt. Daniel N. Fannin, 30. Nishizuka was also stationed at Beale Air Force Base.

Gov. Jerry Brown ordered flags at the State Capitol flown at half-staff in Dickson's honor Tuesday, and Wednesday in Nishizuka's. The men's remains arrived at Dover Air Force Base in Deleware Tuesday.

The MC-12 aircraft Dickson and the other airmen were piloting crashed near Kandahar Airfield, the Department of Defense said. It is not the same crash as the highly publicized crash of a Boeing cargo jet near Bagram Airfield Monday. That incident killed seven civilians.

Neither crash is believed to be the work of enemy combatants.

Rep. John Garamendi (D-Fairfield), whose Congressional district includes Beale Air Force Base, released this statement:

“Staff Sergeant Richard A. Dickson and Captain Reid K. Nishizuka served our country valiantly. These heroes served their nation until their last days, executing their mission with courage and the kind of selfless commitment that is the core of our nation’s strength. When they joined the Air Force, Sergeant Dickson and Captain Nishizuka knew the dangers of the job, yet they willingly put their lives on the line in service to our country. As a community and as a nation, we must rally behind their families and friends during this period of mourning. My thoughts and prayers are with them all.”

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Did you know Richard? Share your memories of him in the comments section below.

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