An investigation is underway after a U.S. Army MH-60 Blackhawk crashed into the Mediterranean Sea during routine training over the weekend, killing five special operations aviation regiment soldiers, defense officials said.
There is no indication the crash was caused by enemy or hostile actions, the Department of Defense (DOD) said.
“The MH-60 Blackhawk was conducting aerial refueling training when the aircraft experienced an in-flight emergency resulting in the crash,” DOD said Monday.
Immediately following the mishap, a search and rescue mission was launched and included U.S. military aircraft and ships, U.S. European Command said.
The soldiers were based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, The Tennessean reported.
“We mourn the tragic loss of five U.S. service members during a training accident in the Mediterranean Sea early Saturday morning,” Defense secretary Lloyd Austin said. “While we continue to gather more information about this deadly crash, it is another stark reminder that the brave men and women who defend our great nation put their lives on the line each and every day to keep our country safe. They represent the best of America. We will remember their service and their sacrifice.”
Defense officials identified those killed as Chief Warrant Officer 3 Stephen R. Dwyer, 38, of Clarksville, Tennessee; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Shane M. Barnes, 34, of Sacramento, California; Staff Sergeant Tanner W. Grone, 26, of Gorham, New Hampshire; Sergeant Andrew P. Southard, 27, of Apache Junction, Arizona; and Sergeant Cade M. Wolfe, 24, of Mankato, Minnesota.
The U.S. Army’s Combat Readiness Center is conducting an investigation into the incident, DOD said.
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