Daniel Mihelescu/AFP via Getty Images
Five U.S. service members were killed Saturday morning when a military Black Hawk helicopter crashed into the Mediterranean Sea during a training exercise, Defense Department officials said.
U.S. European Command said the incident occurred during a routine aerial refueling mission. in press release.
European Command said search and rescue efforts began immediately and an investigation into the crash was ongoing.
A U.S. aircraft carrier and accompanying ships are operating in the Mediterranean as part of a stepped-up presence to deter Iran from direct involvement in the Middle East The war between Israel and Hamas.
There was no indication of enemy fire, officials said. The Black Hawk aircraft comes from the Army’s 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.
The Ministry of Defense will not reveal the identity of the victim until 24 hours after the next of kin has been notified.
The day before the accident, a Veterans Day ceremony was held to commemorate fallen American service members.
Defense Secretary Lloyd said: “While we continue to gather more information about this fatal accident, this is yet another stark reminder that the brave men and women who defend our great country risk their lives every day to keep our country safe. .”Austin said in a statement“They represented the best of America. We will remember their service and sacrifice.”
It is the latest in a series of fatal accidents during military exercises in recent years.
In August, a plane crash occurred during a military training exercise on Melville Island in northern Australia. Killed 3 of 23 Marines Prior to the August crash, Marine Corps Ospreys had been involved in five fatal crashes since 2012, killing a total of 16 people.
2021, five sailors died A Seahawk helicopter crashed off the coast of San Diego during a routine Navy operation.
NPR’s Tom Bowman contributed to this report.