The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has released the names of the five U.S. Army soldiers, all members of the Ft. Campbell-based 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), who died in a helicopter crash in the Mediterranean Sea off the southeastern coast of Cyprus.
Defense Department officials say the MH-60 Blackhawk was conducting aerial refueling training on Friday, November 10, when the aircraft experienced an in-flight emergency resulting in the crash. According to the DOD, there are no indications the crash was caused by enemy or hostile actions.
The five soldiers are identified as:
- Chief Warrant Officer 3 Stephen R. Dwyer, 38 of Clarksville, Tennessee.
- Chief Warrant Officer 2 Shane M. Barnes, 34, of Sacramento, California.
- Staff Sgt. Tanner W. Grone, 26, of Gorham, New Hampshire.
- Sgt. Andrew P. Southard, 27, of Apache Junction, Arizona.
- Sgt. Cade M. Wolfe, 24, of Mankato, Minnesota.
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Upon learning of the fatal crash, President Joe Biden issued the following statement:
”Today, Jill and I mourn the loss of 5 American service members who died when their aircraft crashed in the Mediterranean Sea during a routine training mission. Our service members put their lives on the line for our country every day. They willingly take risks to keep the American people safe and secure. And their daily bravery and selflessness is an enduring testament to what is best in our nation. Jill and I are praying for the families and friends who have lost a precious loved one—a piece of their soul.”
He said the entire nation shares their grief. “We once more affirm the sacred obligation we bear to those who volunteer to serve our nation as well as their families, caregivers, and survivors. We pray for the families of all our fallen warriors today and every day.”
The U.S. Army’s Combat Readiness Center is conducting the investigation of the incident.