Defense

Apache Helicopter Crashes At Army Base, 2 Soldiers Killed

REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

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Will Racke Immigration and Foreign Policy Reporter

Two soldiers were killed late Friday when their AH-64E Apache helicopter crashed at a local training area on Fort Campbell in Kentucky, according to military officials.

The crash occurred at about 9:50 p.m. Friday, reported the Army Times, citing a Saturday morning announcement by 101st Airborne Division. The crew was conducting routine training at the time of the accident, which is under investigation.

“This is a day of sadness for Fort Campbell and the 101st Airborne,” Brig. Gen. Todd Royar, acting senior commander of the 101st Airborne Division and Fort Campbell, said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families during this difficult time.”

The Friday night crash is the fourth major mishap involving U.S. military aircraft in the past week. A Marine Corps Harrier jet crashed during takeoff in Djibouti Tuesday, but the pilot managed to eject and survived the crash. A Marine Super Stallion helicopter went down during a training flight in California later that day, killing all four crew members on board.

Those incidents were followed by another fatal accident Wednesday, when an F-16 from the Air Force’s Thunderbirds flight team crashed at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, killing the pilot.

March was also a difficult month for non-combat related crashes. Two Navy aviators were killed when their F-18 Super Hornet crashed during a training flight in Florida on March 14. The following day, an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter went down during a routine transit flight in western Iraq, killing all seven crew members aboard.

The names of the two soldiers killed at Fort Campbell will not be released until their families are notified, base officials said.

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