The U.S. military confirmed the loss of five service members in a helicopter crash during a routine air refueling mission in the Mediterranean.
The tragic incident involving an MH-60 Black Hawk helicopter occurred late Friday, prompting an immediate investigation by the U.S. European Command.
All five individuals on board, who lost their lives in the crash off the coast of Cyprus, were members of the U.S. Army Special Operations forces, specifically the elite 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, commonly known as the Night Stalkers. These aviators were responsible for conducting covert missions and transporting commandos on clandestine operations.
The U.S. military, in a statement on Sunday, confirmed that the crash is under investigation, emphasizing that there are no indications of hostile activity. Search and rescue efforts were initiated promptly, involving nearby U.S. military aircraft and ships.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin expressed condolences, stating, “We mourn the tragic loss of five U.S. service members during a training accident in the Mediterranean Sea early Saturday morning.” He emphasized the dedication of the men and women in uniform, highlighting the sacrifices they make daily to ensure the nation’s safety.
Respecting the families of the fallen service members and in accordance with Department of Defense policy, the identities of the crew members are being withheld for 24 hours until their families have been notified.