Lynn, Dover Air Force Base Lead Effort to Rename Bridge to Honor Late Airman

DOVER – Spearheaded by Rep. Sean M. Lynn and Dover Air Force Base, the bridge over Route 1 connecting the base with Dover Air Force Base Housing will be named in honor of the late Senior Airman Elizabeth Loncki, an explosive ordnance disposal technician.

The renaming project, facilitated by the Delaware Department of Transportation, will commemorate Senior Airman Loncki, who gave the ultimate sacrifice for her country during Operation Iraqi Freedom. One of the four airmen who were part of “Team Lima,” she worked to successfully disarm 129 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on 194 missions in and around Baghdad, Iraq.

Dover-area legislators, along with House and Senate leadership, were inspired to request the renaming due to Senior Airman Loncki’s passion and dedication to serve her country. In a letter to DelDOT, the lawmakers described Senior Airman Loncki’s passion to join the Air Force in order to “do something good.” Tragically, she was killed in the line of duty on January 7, 2007 at age 23.

“Senior Airman Loncki’s sacrifice for her state and country will never be forgotten. I was moved by her service and story, and offered to send a letter on behalf of Dover Air Force Base to DelDOT. I am so honored to have been able to help the Base and the Loncki family celebrate her legacy,” said Rep. Lynn, D-Dover.

“Our military men and women are selfless, giving so much to ensure our country’s safety. Now, airmen and families traveling the bypass from the air base to base housing will always be reminded of Elizabeth’s passion for serving the greater good, and I look forward to seeing the bridge renaming in the fall.”

Born and raised in New Castle County, Senior Airman Loncki excelled with grace and tenacity in a male-dominated field as an explosive ordnance disposal technician.

“Elizabeth was proud to serve our country. This dedication will help bring to fruition her wish to never be forgotten. She will always be in our hearts,” said Walter and Christine Loncki, Senior Airman Loncki’s grandparents.

Added Staff Sgt. JJ Hargrove, a fellow explosive ordnance disposal technician with Dover Air Force Base, “This bridge dedication isn’t about putting a sign on a bridge or a building. It’s about having a physical reminder of Liz’s life and the ultimate sacrifice that she paid for this country. This bridge will serve as a reminder for everyone who enters and leaves Dover Air Force Base, as well as a reminder of the spirit of Senior Airman Loncki.”

State Secretary of Transportation Jennifer Cohan stated, “We are proud to dedicate this bridge in memory of Senior Airman Elizabeth Loncki, and to recognize and honor her in her home state of Delaware for her loyal service and sacrifice to our country. May this bridge serve as a reminder of her life and legacy as a true American hero.”