PAVE LOW Pilot #359
January 7, 1967 - April 9, 2010
Maj. Randell Dunton Voas was killed when the CV-22B he was piloting crashed in Afghanistan during combat operations near the town of Qalat City and Kandahar.
Randy is survived by his wife, Jill Voas (Saniti-Hippe); daughter, Madeline 16, son, Mitchell 13, Shalimar, FL; mother and stepfather, Jo and Larry Kallemeyn, Spearfish, SD; father and stepmother, Dwaine and Vadis Voas, Burnsville, MN; brother, Jeffrey A. Voas, Seattle, WA.
Preceded in death by his grandparents, John and Opal Beatty, Clarence "Dick" and Catherine Voas, and Jill's parents, Dean and Jean (Schwab) Hippe and grandparents, Paul and Lena Schwab.
Randy was born in 1967, at the Camp Kue U.S. Army Hospital in Okinawa. He grew up in Eden Prairie, MN and graduated in 1985 from Eden Prairie High School where he ran track and cross country. In 1989, he attended the University of Minnesota and received a BS degree in biology. Following college, Randy married his one and only love, Jill Saniti-Hippe in 1991, and shortly thereafter started his military aviation career in the US Army Warrant Officer Flight Training Program at Fort Rucker, AL.
Following completion of flight school, Randy reported to Fulda, Germany, as an AH-64 Apache pilot with several aviation regiments. Following his assignment in Germany, Randy served with the elite 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, KY, and the 5-501 at Camp Eagle, South Korea.
In 2000, Major Voas was among a select group of Army pilots to transfer into the US Air Force to fly the MH-53 PAVE LOW. Upon completion of officer training school at Maxwell AFB, AL, he was assigned to the 21st SOS at RAF Mildenhall, UK. During the opening days of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, Randy led a flight of two MH-53s on a demanding combat mission into northern Iraq in support of the largest airdrop since Vietnam. For his heroic actions he was awarded the Cheney Award, which was presented by the Air Force Chief of Staff in 2003.
Following his assignment in England, Randy was assigned the 23rd Flight Training Squadron as an Air Force instructor pilot, teaching and mentoring countless future Air Force helicopter pilots.
In 2006, Randy was hand-picked as an initial cadre instructor pilot for the new CV-22 Osprey program. He was assigned to the 8th SOS at Hurlburt Field, FL, while at the 8th he participated in operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM. Randy was one of the Air Force's most experienced and skilled CV-22 pilots and his contributions to AFSOC and his country are immeasurable.
Randy was a beloved son, husband, father, and friend. His undying support for his wife of 18 years, children and extended family, coupled with his integrity, intellect, and commitment to his country barely underscore the man we all knew and loved.