An Air Force veteran who was fatally shot earlier this week when Trump supporters overran the Capitol building during a violent protest started her stint in the military in the Fairbanks area.
Ashli Babbitt, 35, who served four years on active duty and some eight years divided between the Reserve and the National Guard, spent her first and apparently only active duty enlistment as a member of the 354th Security Forces Squadron at Eielson Air Force Base.
Although it is unclear when Babbitt arrived in Alaska, according to the Air Force Personnel Center, Babbitt joined the Air Force in April 2004. After basic training and Security Forces Technical School, she reported for duty at Eielson and by January 2008, as an airman first class, was stationed with her then-husband at Dyess Air Force Base in Texas months before being released from active duty.
Security Forces units are tasked with guarding the billions of dollars worth of military aircraft and equipment found on most Air Force bases and with maintaining the safety of the post.
After leaving active duty, Babbitt served in the Reserve from October 2008 to July 2010. She served as a Guardsman from July 2010 to July 2016. Babbitt deployed multiple times to the Middle East, including Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates.
Babbitt lived in Alaska with her husband, then-Staff Sgt. Timothy McEntee, who was also a member of the 354th. The two have been divorced for several years. She remarried in 2019.
Little is known publicly about Babbitt’s political beliefs while she was in the Air Force. In 2012 her Facebook posts voiced support for Ron Paul and libertarianism. But sometime starting between 2018 and 2019 her social media presence took on a darker tone.
In the days before she went to Washington, D.C., she expressed excitement about the trip and the coming “storm,” a reference to QAnon conspiracies. In her last tweet, posted on Tuesday, she said, “Nothing will stop us.... they can try and try and try but the storm is here and it is descending upon DC in less than 24 hours... dark to light!”
The last video of Babbitt when she was still alive shows her leading the way through the Capitol building, pushing forward in an attempt to jump over an impromptu barricade Capitol Police had set up to block entry to where lawmakers were located. She was warned by police who, after she reportedly refused commands, shot her at least once in the neck. She died later the same day.
Contact staff writer Will Morris at 459-7582.