A military helicopter carrying five American servicemen has fallen into the Mediterranean.
According to the United States European Command (EUCOM), the aircraft crashed into the sea while on a routine air refueling operation. All five servicemen aboard were confirmed dead after an immediate search and rescue operation, including nearby U.S. military aircraft and ships.
On Saturday, the European Union Command (EUCOM) issued a statement insisting that the accident had nothing to do with anything other than training and that no hostile action was suspected.
The accident of the MH-60 Blackhawk happened during practice for aerial refueling when the aircraft suddenly ran into trouble in the air. According to a statement released by the government on Monday, the planes and personnel were members of the 1st Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne). Rescue operations had commenced.
Sgt. Andrew P. Southard, Sgt. Cade M. Wolfe, Staff Sgt. Tanner W. Grone, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Shane M. Barnes, and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Stephen R. Dwyer were identified as the five military personnel killed on Monday.
Reports reveal the accident is the most recent in a series of military mishaps that have resulted in deaths so far in 2023.
During a training exercise in August, a Marine Corps aircraft carrying 23 service members crashed on Melville Island in Australia, resulting in three of the servicemen being killed and the other service members being wounded.
During a March training exercise, 2 Army helicopters crashed in the state of Kentucky, resulting in the deaths of nine more personnel.
Army sources said that the two Black Hawk helicopters from the 101st Airborne Division were undergoing a regular training exercise when they went down about 10 p.m. on Wednesday. One of the helicopters had five people on board, while the second aircraft had four. According to the officials, the aircraft flew in multiple ship formations using night vision goggles.
An Army helicopter crashed in Alaska one month earlier, resulting in the deaths of three personnel.