The U.S. Army has launched the names of the 5 troopers who died Friday night when their MH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed into the Mediterranean Sea.
The victims of the crash are Chief Warrant Officer 3 Stephen R. Dwyer, 38, of Clarksville, Tennessee; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Shane M. Barnes, 34, of Sacramento, California; Employees Sgt. Tanner W. Grone, 26, of Gorham, New Hampshire; Sgt. Andrew P. Southard, 27, of Apache Junction, Arizona; and Sgt. Cade M. Wolfe, 24, of Mankato, Minnesota.
The 5 troopers had been a part of the Army’s Particular Operations Command and assigned to 1st Battalion, one hundred and sixtieth Particular Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne). A senior protection official would not say whether or not that the unit was within the space to help Israel however did say that they had been “there in response to the dynamic safety atmosphere within the area.”
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The official mentioned that “there’s at present a contingent of U.S. army forces, together with planning and logistics specialists to help U.S. preparedness, to make sure the protection and safety of Americans within the area if wanted.”
The Pentagon introduced the crash Saturday afternoon however didn’t launch particulars. The assertion from U.S. European Command merely mentioned that “a U.S. army plane conducting coaching operations within the jap Mediterranean suffered a mishap and went down.” The assertion did stress, although, that “the plane sortie was purely associated to coaching and there aren’t any indications of hostile exercise.”
On Monday, the Army confirmed the Black Hawk was conducting aerial refueling coaching when “the plane skilled an in-flight emergency, ensuing within the crash.”
The Army’s Fight Readiness Heart is conducting an investigation into the incident, the Pentagon mentioned.
President Joe Biden mentioned Sunday that he was mourning the lack of the 5 troopers, including that “their every day bravery and selflessness is a permanent testomony to what’s greatest in our nation.”
“Jill and I are praying for the households and mates who’ve misplaced a treasured beloved one — a chunk of their soul,” he added.
Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin additionally launched an announcement Sunday saying that the incident was “one other stark reminder that the courageous women and men who defend our nice nation put their lives on the road every day to maintain our nation protected.”
Lt. Gen. Jonathan Braga, the top of Army Particular Operations Command, mentioned that the crash was “devastating information that reverberates throughout all the particular operations neighborhood.”
Braga mentioned that the victims “hail from uncommon patriotic households with deep army service ties that span a number of generations and formations” and that “each loss is hard, however on this case, service to the nation is actually a household enterprise and it is laborious to specific the quantity of sorrow that all of us really feel proper now.”
Dwyer, essentially the most senior soldier on the plane and one in all its pilots, began out his profession as an artillery officer earlier than changing into a helicopter pilot and warrant officer.
His decorations embody the Bronze Star Medal, a Meritorious Service Medal, and an Air Medal with fight machine, in addition to a number of private, service and marketing campaign awards.
Barnes, the opposite pilot of the Black Hawk, had been with the one hundred and sixtieth since 2016. The Army assertion mentioned that in 2020 “he absolutely devoted himself to the group and his occupation by resigning his fee and changing into a warrant officer.”
His decorations embody the Distinguished Flying Cross with valor machine and Air Medal with fight machine, in addition to a number of private, service and marketing campaign awards.
Grone enlisted within the Army in 2017 as a Black Hawk repairer and was assigned to the one hundred and sixtieth in 2018. He served as a flight teacher and crew chief for the MH-60M.
Grone’s awards and decorations embody the Air Medal with fight machine and the Army Achievement Medal with fight machine, in addition to a number of service ribbons and marketing campaign awards.
In keeping with the Army, Dwyer, Barnes and Grone all deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan with the one hundred and sixtieth “and supported a number of no-notice deployments and workouts worldwide in help of nationwide safety aims.”
Southard enlisted within the Army in 2015 as a Black Hawk repairer and was first assigned to the first Armored Division’s Fight Aviation Brigade at Fort Bliss, Texas, earlier than transferring to Fort Campbell’s a hundred and first Fight Aviation Brigade. He arrived on the one hundred and sixtieth in 2023, the place he served as an MH-60M crew chief.
His awards embody two Army Commendation Medals and Army Achievement Medal, in addition to a number of service ribbons and marketing campaign awards. He additionally deployed to Afghanistan with the first Armored Division Fight Aviation Brigade.
Lastly, Wolfe enlisted within the Army in 2018 as a Black Hawk repairer and was initially assigned to the twenty fifth Fight Aviation Brigade at Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii, earlier than coming to the one hundred and sixtieth as an MH-60M crew chief.
His awards embody two Army Commendation Medals and an Army Achievement Medal, in addition to a number of service ribbons.
Col. Roger Waleski Jr., who’s the commander of the one hundred and sixtieth, mentioned that every one 5 males “had been actually SOF professionals and are among the many nation’s most interesting troopers.”
“Their loss has left an indelible void inside this regiment that can by no means be stuffed,” he mentioned in a launched assertion.
— Konstantin Toropin might be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Comply with him on X at @ktoropin.
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