Galliher Family Releases Statement; More Remains Recovered From Air Crash

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — As the community mourns the loss of Pittsfield native Staff Sgt. Jacob Galliher, new information has been released about the military aircraft crash that claimed his life last week.
On Monday, the Air Force Special Operations Command reported that Japanese and United States dive teams were able to confirm five additional crew members from the original crew of eight that were involved in the CV-22 mishap aircraft near Yakushima, Japan, on Nov. 29.
"Currently, two crew members of the five located today have been successfully recovered by the attending teams. There is an ongoing combined effort to recover the remaining crew members from the wreckage. The identities of the members located today have yet to be determined and will be released at a later date," the update reads.
"The coalition of military, coast guard, law enforcement, mariners, and local volunteers remain steadfast in locating and bringing the U.S. Service Members back to their units and their families. The military has also turned to dispatching professional support for the care of the families. As efforts persist for the location and recovery of the entire crew, the privacy of the families and loved ones impacted by this tragic incident remains a great concern."
Over the weekend, Galliher's family released a statement expressing "heartfelt gratitude for the outpouring of support and condolences received from friends, community members, and the nation at large."
Galliher, 24, leaves behind a devastated family, including his beloved wife Ivy, two young sons aged 2 years and 7 weeks old, a loving family and countless friends, all of whom are grappling with this profound loss, his family wrote.
"Jake was an amazing father, son and brother dedicated to his family and friends and we look forward to telling his story when the time is right."
The Air Force confirmed that one set of remains had been found the day after the crash and announced the identification of Galliher's remains on Saturday.
Galliher entered active duty in August 2017, after graduating from Taconic High School, and served as a direct support operator assigned to the 43rd Intelligence Squadron, a tenant unit in support of the 353rd Special Operations Wing based out of Yokota Air Base, Japan.
He earned honors throughout multiple training pipelines including Honor Graduate of Basic Military Training, Distinguished Graduate of the Air Force's Cryptologic Language Analyst Course, and Honor Graduate of the Defense Language Institute's Chinese Language Course.
"A consummate intelligence professional and dedicated academic, Jake earned his Community College of the Air Force degree in Intelligence studies, all while actively pursuing his bachelor's degree in East Asian Studies and maintaining proficiency in Chinese Mandarin," the Air Force wrote in an update on Sunday.
"As a DSO, Jake was an airborne linguist specializing in Chinese Mandarin. DSOs fly as AFSOC aircrew members during training, exercises, and real-world contingencies. Jake was a qualified DSO on the AC-130J, MC-130H, and CV-22B."
During his career, Galliher was recognized with the Air Force Achievement Medal, Air and Space Commendation Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, and Air Force Meritorious Unit Award.
"Jacob was a beloved husband, father, son, and brother as well as a model Airman who will be forever remembered for his dedication to this great nation and his fellow warriors," said Air Force Maj. Gilbert Summers, 43d Intelligence Squadron, Detachment 1 commander, said in the Air Force update.
"With a ready smile, Jake brought the unit together on and off duty through humor and an inexhaustible supply of energy, whether it was on the aircraft, in the gym, or on the slopes with the team. Everywhere he went, and everyone he met, was made better for him being there. He has left an indelible mark as a devoted family man, steadfast wingman, and an irreplaceable airman in both duty and compassion. Jacob's tremendous legacy will live on through his beautiful family and through all of us who had the honor of knowing him."
Following the announcement of his death, Taconic High School Principal Matthew Bishop, the Pittsfield Police Department, U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, U.S. Sen. Edward Markey and Gov. Maura Healey and state Veterans Services SecretaryJon Santiago issued statements of condolences.
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Pittsfield's Former Polish Club Eyed For $20 Million Condo Project

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — With a sizable grant from the state, the former Polish Community Club is eyed for a 40-unit housing development that adds four additional buildings to the property.

On Wednesday, the Affordable Housing Trust heard from developer Robert Shan about the project that could cost as much as $20 million.  Planners are vying for $10 million through the MassHousing CommonWealth Builder Program created to facilitate the construction of single-family homes and condominiums affordable to households with moderate incomes.

"We're looking not just to do a one-off but to have a presence in Pittsfield, a presence in Berkshire County, and look to bring forward attainable and affordable housing to many communities," he said.

"We see this as as as the first step and it's ready to go. We've put a tremendous amount of work into it and we're looking forward to being able to work with you."

While utilizing the former club, the plot at 55 Linden Street would have five buildings of one to three-bedroom condominiums for first-time homebuyers.  The final costs have not yet been determined but it is estimated that a unit for those of the 80 percent area median income will cost between $150,000 and $200,000 and those in between 80 and 100 percent AMI will cost between $190,000 and $250,000.

The proposed condos are single-story units with an entrance from the street with the first-floor units having a private fenced backyard.  The existing building is staged for single-story condos and two-story townhouses.

Planners aim to bring the character of the 1872 structure into the new construction through colors and architectural elements.

"In developing housing for first-time buyers, we wanted a form that all had entries from grade, from outside without common corridors, without elevators to get that feeling of homeownership," Shan explained.

"While we can't afford to build and get these first-time families at the single-family homes, we wanted a hybrid product that really felt and operated like a home where a lot of the units have backyards, is its own community, etc. So in that, we have not maximized the density."

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