Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hostile fire not suspected in crash which killed 14; 4 were from Fort Lewis, 10 from Schofield Barracks

Above: Troops load onto a UH-60 Black Hawk on a night mission from Forward Operating Base Iskandariyah in June.

The Army has not released the names of the 14 Task Force Lightning soldiers killed in Wednesday’s helicopter crash, but said the four crew members were from Fort Lewis, Wash., and their 10 passengers were based at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

Mechanical failure — and not hostile fire — is suspected in the UH-60 Black Hawk crash in northern Iraq.

The helicopter was part of a two-aircraft formation carrying out a night operation with several different elements on the ground and in the air.

It went down moments after the 10 soldiers had finished the ground part of their operation and boarded the aircraft.

“They were conducting an extraction of soldiers. It took place and shortly after the extraction was when the mechanical malfunction occurred,” said Lt. Col. Mike Donnelly, spokesman for Task Force Lightning.

Read the rest at Army Times

Related Link:
14 U.S. troops killed in helicopter crash; 'The cause of the incident is under investigation'