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Homeland Security

Lajes Field Airman, fellow travelers stop attack on French train

U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Public Affairs / Published August 22, 2015

AMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (AFNS) -- A 65th Air Base Group Airman, along with two other friends traveling on personal leave, took immediate action to help stop an attack on board a train in Northern France, Aug. 21.

Airman First Class Spencer Stone, assigned to Lajes Air Base, Azores, saw an emergency situation arise and took immediate action to subdue an armed gunman before he could engage his automatic weapon on the train.

"According to reports, after subduing the gunman, Stone provided medical aid to a fellow traveler," said Col. Richard C. Sheffe, the 65th Air Base Group commander. "These are the actions of a dedicated Airman who answered the call and did what was needed to be done and made a difference. We wish Airman Stone and all others a fast recovery and thank them for their actions."

Brig. Gen. Jon T. Thomas, the 86th Airlift Wing commander at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, echoed Sheffe's comments.

"We are truly grateful for the quick reaction and response of Airman Stone and others who stopped this attack," said Thomas. "Incidents like these are why we commit to keeping Airmen across all units highly trained, alert and ready to answer their nation's call, anytime and anywhere. The 86th Airlift Wing is proud of our courageous 65th Air Base Group Airman and wish the injured a full and speedy recovery."

Stone is currently being treated in a French medical facility with non-life threatening injuries.

His actions emulate U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa’s initiative of being “Forward, Ready, Now!”

More information will be released as it becomes available.

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