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21 July, 2024
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US helicopter crash claims 5 lives in southern Mediterranean

Aerial refueling training takes a devastating turn as MH-60 Blackhawk plunges in in-flight emergency


The US military has officially named the five soldiers who lost their lives in a helicopter crash in the Eastern Mediterranean last Friday, as confirmed by a statement from the US Army Special Operations Command on Monday.

The deceased soldiers were members of the renowned "Night Stalkers" unit belonging to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, engaging in a routine training mission, the statement disclosed.

The incident occurred during aerial refueling training of the MH-60 Blackhawk, leading to an in-flight emergency and subsequent crash, according to the statement.

The identified soldiers are:

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Stephen R. Dwyer, 38, from Clarksville, Tenn.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Shane M. Barnes, 34, from Sacramento, Calif.
Staff Sgt. Tanner W. Grone, 26, from Gorham, N.H.
Sgt. Andrew P. Southard, 27, from Apache Junction, Ariz.
Sgt. Cade M. Wolfe, 24, from Mankato, Minn.

Col. Roger P. Waleski Jr., Commander of the 160th SOAR, praised the fallen soldiers, stating, "They demonstrated the highest level of dedication to the 160th SOAR, and their exemplary service to the Army is the embodiment of what it means to be an NCO and a Soldier."

The statement emphasized the priority of providing full support to the families of the deceased soldiers during this tragic time. It urged everyone to keep Stephen, Shane, Tanner, Andrew, Cade, their families, and fellow Night Stalkers in their thoughts and prayers.

No further details about the helicopter recovery operation were disclosed by the Pentagon. The search efforts were assisted by the Navy, deploying three P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft and the guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Ignatius (DDG-117), according to U.S. European Command's announcement on Sunday.

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