5 soldiers based in Fort Campbell, Kentucky killed in overseas helicopter crash

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Five U.S. soldiers who were killed in a helicopter crash over the Mediterranean Sea Friday were based out of Fort Campbell in Kentucky, according to Gov. Andy Beshear.

The five servicemen were from various states across the country but served with the Army’s Special Operations aviation unit in Fort Campbell. Beshear asked people to pray for the soldiers and their families.

“This is a heartbreaking reminder of the sacrifices these heroes make for our country and our freedoms,” Beshear said in a statement posted to X. “Please join Britainy and me in praying for the families, friends and fellow service members of these American heroes.”

President Joe Biden also offered condolences for the victims on social media, saying he and Jill Biden are mourning the deaths.

“We are praying for the families and friends who lost a precious loved one — a piece of their soul,” Biden said. “Our entire nation shares their grief.”

The soldiers were performing a routine training exercise when the incident happened, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. All soldiers were aboard a MH-60 Black Hawk helicopter conducting aerial refueling training.

The soldiers were identified as:

  • Chief Warrant Officer 3 Stephen R. Dwyer, 38, of Clarksville, Tennessee

  • Chief Warrant Officer 2 Shane M. Barnes, 34, of Sacramento, California

  • Staff Sgt. Tanner W. Grone, 26, of Gorham, New Hampshire

  • Sgt. Andrew P. Southard, 27, of Apache Junction, Arizona

  • Sgt. Cade M. Wolfe, 24, of Mankato, Minnesota.

What we know about the Kentucky-based soldiers killed in an overseas helicopter crash

The were no indications the crash was a result of any hostile activity, according to the Associated Press. Search and rescue operations involving nearby U.S. military aircraft and ships began immediately after the crash.

The Washington Post reported that the soldiers were in the region as part of the United States’ broader planning around the war in Gaza.

“We mourn the loss of these five incredible soldiers, each of them a national treasure,” said Lt. Gen. Jonathan Braga in a Facebook post. “They hail from rare patriotic families with deep military service ties that span multiple generations and formations.”

This is the second reported Black Hawk incident causing the deaths of Fort Campbell soldiers this year. In March, nine soldiers based out of Fort Campbell were killed in a crash that involved two Black Hawk helicopters in Trigg County. The soldiers were performing a routine training mission when the crash happened.