Air Force general, his wife die in small plane crash in Virginia

Major General Joseph D. Brown IV and his wife Susan D. Brown died Friday when the Cessna plane he was flying crashed near the Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport in Virginia. 

The Air Force said Maj. Gen. Joseph D. Brown IV, 54, and his wife, Susan D. Brown, died Friday when the single-engine Cessna 210 he was flying crashed. Joseph Brown was commandant of the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. He formerly was assigned to U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Joe Brown and his wife, Sue," Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III said in a written statement Saturday.

"Joe and Sue dedicated their lives in service to our nation and their loss will be felt across our Air Force and joint team," they said.

Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said the crash occurred at 4:53 p.m. Friday near the Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport, where the plane was supposed to land. The Browns' dog also was killed. There were no other passengers on the plane, Geller said. No one on the ground was hurt and no buildings were damaged.

Brown's biography on the Air Force website says he was commissioned in 1980 after graduating from the ROTC program at Virginia Military Institute. He has received more than a dozen awards and commendations, including the NATO Meritorious Service Medal, the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star. He was a 1997 distinguished graduate of the National War College.

According to the biography, Brown served as the senior military assistant to the undersecretary of defense for policy, as executive officer to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe and as deputy commander of the NATO Combined Operations Center in Eskisehir, Turkey. He was a command pilot with more than 4,300 hours, including combat time in Iraq.

Brown served as deputy director for nuclear operations for the U.S. Strategic Command for two years before being assigned to the National Defense University in October 2010. The Air Force describes the Eisenhower School as "the premier Department of Defense Joint Professional Military Education institution for national security resource management." The college awards its graduates a master of science degree in national resource strategy.

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