Five U.S. Army members lost their lives in a training accident late Friday when their MH-60 helicopter crashed into the Mediterranean Sea. All victims were identified as special operations soldiers. The incident occurred during a routine air refueling mission near Cyprus, and while the cause of the helicopter failure is under investigation, U.S. European Command has stated there are no indications of hostile activity. Search and rescue efforts were initiated immediately and continued until Saturday when they were ultimately called off.
The special operations team was deployed to the region, with its primary mission focused on potentially assisting in the evacuation of American citizens amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. The tragic accident took place as the helicopter experienced a mishap, leading to the crash into the Mediterranean.
The identities of the deceased soldiers have not been publicly disclosed as family notifications are underway. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin expressed his condolences, emphasizing the incident as a stark reminder of the inherent risks that members of the military face in their service to the nation. President Joe Biden also mourned the loss, extending prayers to the families and friends of the fallen service members.
U.S. European Command, headquartered in Germany, continues its investigation into the circumstances surrounding the MH-60 helicopter crash. The military command clarified that the incident occurred during a routine air refueling mission, and updates on the investigation are expected as more information becomes available.
The tragic accident underscores the sacrifices made by those who serve in the nation’s armed forces. As the nation mourns the loss of these special operations soldiers, attention remains focused on determining the cause of the accident and providing support to the grieving families.
Five U.S. Army Special Operations forces have died in a helicopter crash in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, American officials said on Sunday. The troops were on a refueling training mission when the aircraft crashed off the coast of Cyprus. https://t.co/4lwd2AXbCl
— The New York Times (@nytimes) November 12, 2023