USAF Commander Found Dead

| May 14, 2020

Col. Thomas Falzarano, commander of the 21st Space Wing, was found dead at his home at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado. His death is believed to be of natural causes, and the wing said there are now no indications he had contracted COVID-19. Falzarano is shown here at a commander’s call at Cavalier Air Force Station, North Dakota, on Sept. 27, 2019. (A1C Andrew Bertain/Air Force)

The Air Force Times reports that a US Air Force base commander was found dead in his home.

Col. Thomas Falzarano, commander of the 21st Space Wing at Peterson Air Force Base, died at his home on base Tuesday.

Falzarano was found unresponsive and was pronounced dead at home, the wing said in a statement to Air Force Times. His death is now under investigation, but the 21st said it appears to be due to natural causes. He was 47 years old.

There is no indication Falzarano had contracted COVID-19, the wing said.


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MI Ranger

This aught to be interesting if it is not COVID-19 related. “47 year old base Commander, about to transition to Space Command dies of natural causes!”
Right…and Epstein killed himself.


Not necessarily. People younger than that sometimes die suddenly of heart disease.

At one installation I was stationed at while on active duty
the commander of one of the infantry battalions there collapsed and died one day right after morning PT. Word was it was either a major heart attack or cardiac arrest.

Assuming a normal officer career pattern (O5 command around 17 years commissioned service, +/-), I’m pretty sure the guy was in his late 30s or early 40s.

MI Ranger

said he was 47 years old. From the picture he looks healthy (not over weight). Yes, probably a cardiac thing.
Man the Space Force really needs to do a better job of it ‘nal probes to ensure stuff like this doesn’t happen in the future.

MI Ranger

Wonder if this had anything to do with it:
“Falzarano even allowed himself to be shocked by a stun gun, and allowed a military working dog to bite him to see how K9 units catch intruders.” during his day with Security Forces after taking command last summer?


Doubtful. I’ve been shocked dozens of times and taken countless bites. While it is very likely a contributor to my mental health problems, physically I’m fine. 🙂


Don’t know how it is today, but 47 is far from the youngest ADAF guy I saw die from natural causes. 17, undiagnosed heart condition on his first go round with annual certification. AGS guy. Whole base went ape poop for awhile. Slight possibility he was using steroids, they were legal back then.

Slow Joe

Let the Conspiracy Theories begin!


Too young! Fair winds and following seas, Col. Falzarano.


Medics out of my station actually ran this call.


That would be a hard one.


Yeah, said he was dead on the treadmill. Nothing to be done.

5th/77th FA

Will this be recorded as the FIRST casualty of the Space Force or as the only person who DIDN’T die of COVID19?

RIP Colonel. 47 is kinda young to die of natural causes, but heart attacks, strokes, cancers, ect do not discriminate by age or sex. Peace be unto his family and the Troops that he served with.

Combat Historian

A couple of years before I retired, a female LTC in her early 40s in my unit suddenly suffered a severe stroke out of the blue and died within hours after being rushed to Walter Reed. She was healthy, no signs and no pre-existing conditions, and ran 10ks and mini marathons all the time. Sometimes these deaths of healthy younger people are inexplicable, but they happen…


Indeed. May God comfort his family, friends, and professional colleagues.


RIP, sir.

Too young and too soon.


We know not the time or place.
It was his time.
Rest in peace sir.


Sad to see. Just serves as a reminder how fragile life can be at times. I’m 47 myself. You take your chances leaving the house as driving is one of the more hazardous things you do. You don’t expect, however, to just not wake up one day. Don’t forget to say your prayers, folks.

Rest in peace, colonel.

Veritas Omnia Vincit

Well another sad moment, this is way too young for this to happen…

Condolences to his family and friends, may their grief be overshadowed by the positive memories of their time with the Colonel.


Rest Easy, Dear Colonel.

Wilted Willy

Oh how the good die young! I once had a dear friend drop dead at the ripe old age of 37. Very healthy young man and just had a major heart attack and died. My dear mother-in-law dropped dead from a brain anuerism. Never forget to tell your loved ones that you love them, you never know if you will see them again???
Rest in peace and may God Bless you and your family during this tragic time.


Rest In Peace, Col. Condolences to his family.


Late-40’s, early 50’s seem to be a prime time to get “The Widowmaker”.

Known more than a few gents that has happened to.

The Stranger

Yeah, especially in our line of work. You just never know which shock will be your last or if you’ll have long-term issues from a seemingly minor shock. I’ve gotten whacked with 120, 208, and 277 (that one REALLY hurt) and it’s a concern; it’s also why I don’t fuck around about LOTO and using PPE.


Primary reason why you go get checked out after any shock.

Hack Stone

Way back in the day while Hack was attending Ground Radio Repair Course, a Marine from Bravo Company dropped dead of a heart attack at the age of 23. He probably had an undiagnosed preexisting condition. Doubt that would be the case here, the deceased was in long enough to pick up Colonel. Maybe a leaky water heater caused carbon monoxide poisoning?


Prayers for his family and his AF family.

Mike B USAF Retired

Back in Nov 2002 while preparing for deployment for the pending Iraqi Invasion, I suffered a major heart attack (Widow maker). I was 35, and according to my Jul 02 post deployment and Nov 02 pre deployment/annual long physical, I was healthy.

2 weeks after my physical I was lying on a hospital floor flat lining. I would flat line 7 times that night, before they could stabilize me and get me into the cath lab.

I was found physically fit returned to duty by a MEB/PEB. 3 1/2 years after the heart attack, my EF rate dropped (As one cardiologist said to a level not conducive for supporting life). It bottomed out at 12%, so at age 39 I had an ICD implanted.

Hard to explain how you go from healthy one day, to unhealthy the next, with no warning signs.

In July 06 they told me within 10 years I’ll either have a new heart, a mechanical pump awaiting a new heart, or be deceased. Well almost 14 years later, I’ll still have my original screwed up heart.


Reminds me of Jim Fixx.

Both his parents dies of heart disease, so he starts running like Forrest Fucking Gump, even wrote a few books.

End result? Dead on the side of the highway from a heart attack, age 52. All three major cardiac arteries blocked 70 percent or more.


Back in the late 90s and early 2000s,
TWO (2) E-8s (1 MSG, 1 1SG) in the PA Army National Guard
shipped off on orders to SGM school…
and came home in a box.
Sad.. but it happens. Always has.