On Saturday, officials have confirmed two U.S. soldiers were killed during a training exercise in Fort Campbell, in Kentucky.
As Fox News reports, the soldiers were members of the 101st Airborne Division and were killed when their helicopter crashed late Friday evening. The crashed helicopter was an Army AH-64E Apache.
Per protocol, the names of the soldiers will not be made public until next-of-kin are notified.
As Fox News reports, the helicopter crash is one of a tragic series of crashes over the course of the week:
The crew was conducting routine training at the time of the accident. There were no other casualties. Fort Campbell Fire and Emergency Services members responded to the crash scene.
The cause of the accident was being investigated.
Three other U.S. military aircraft crashed this week, leaving five service members dead.
On Wednesday, an Air Force Thunderbird pilot was killed when his F-16 crashed near Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.
On Tuesday, a Marin Corps CH053E Super Stallion helicopter crashed during a training flight in California, killing the four crew members on board.
Also Tuesday, a Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier crashed during a takeoff in Djibouti. The pilot survived after ejecting.
Two soldiers were killed Friday when an AH-64E Apache helicopter crashed a routine training mission in a training area on Fort Campbell https://t.co/Dvli4jIuez
— Stars and Stripes (@starsandstripes) April 7, 2018
U.S. Army Fort Campbell wrote on social media, “At approximately 9:50 p.m. Friday, two Soldiers of the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) were killed in an AH-64E Apache helicopter crash in the local training area on Fort Campbell.”
“The names of the deceased will not be released until 24 hours after next-of-kin notification is complete,” they added. “The crew was conducting routine training at the time of the accident. There were no other casualties. Fort Campbell Fire and Emergency Services are on site and recovery operations are ongoing.”
“This is a day of sadness for Fort Campbell and the 101st Airborne,” said Brig. Gen. Todd Royar, per the social media post. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Families during this difficult time.”
At approximately 9:50 p.m. Friday, two Soldiers of the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air…
Here’s more, per Army Times:
Friday’s crash comes on the heels of a difficult few weeks for military aviation.
On March 14, two Navy aviators were killed when their F/A-18F Super Hornet crashed during a training flight in Florida. A day later, seven airmen were killed when their HH-60 Pave Hawk crashed in western Iraq during a routine transit flight.
On April 3, two more crashes occurred. A Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier crashed during takeoff in Djibouti; the pilot ejected and survived. Later that day, a Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crashed during a training flight in California, killing the four crew members on board.
And on April 4, an F-16 from the Air Force’s Thunderbirds crashed near Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, killing the pilot.
During a press conference earlier this week, the Pentagon’s Joint Staff Director, Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, Jr., said each crash should be viewed individually and not stringed together, as to avoid spectulating a “trend.”
“I would reject ‘wave’ and ‘crisis,’” McKenzie said, per Fox News. “We’re are going to look at each one in turn. Each one is tragic. We regret each one. We will look at them carefully. I am certainly not prepared to say that it’s a ‘wave’ of mishaps or some form of ‘crisis.’”Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.