Defense

Pentagon Identifies American Soldier As Coalition Member Killed In Iraq Helicopter Crash

Department of Defense

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Will Racke Immigration and Foreign Policy Reporter

The U.S.-led coalition member who was killed in a helicopter crash in Iraq over the weekend was an American soldier, the Defense Department revealed Tuesday.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Taylor J. Galvin, 34, died on Monday a result of injuries sustained in the crash, which occurred Sunday night in the western Iraqi province of Ninevah. (RELATED: US-Led Coalition Member Killed In Helicopter Crash In Iraq)

Galvin was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, according to the Pentagon. His unit was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the multinational coalition to defeat the Islamic State.

Few detail have been released about the circumstances leading up to the crash, but it does not appear to have been the result of enemy action.

“The aircraft was conducting a partnered counterterrorism mission in support of Operation Inherent Resolve,” the coalition said in a statement released Monday, adding that there were “no indications the crash was caused by hostile fire.”

All personnel on the aircraft were recovered after the crash, Inherent Resolve said. Three of the coalition members were then evacuated for further medical treatment.

Coalition forces continue to fight ISIS in eastern Syria and in scattered pockets of resistance across the Iraq-Syria borderlands. The coalition backs Iraqi security forces for operations in Iraq and Syrian Democratic Forces in Syria.

Galvin was a Black Hawk helicopter pilot in the 160th SOAR, an elite group of aviators popularly known as the Night Stalkers. The unit specializes in nighttime operations and often carries U.S. special operations commandos to and from their most dangerous and sensitive missions.

Galvin joined the Night Stalkers in 2015, after two deployments to Iraq and one to Afghanistan as a pilot instructor, Stars and Stripes reported. At the time of his death, he had deployed four times in support of Inherent Resolve.

It remains unclear whether Galvin was piloting or co-piloting the Black Hawk when it went down. An investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash is underway, the Pentagon said.

A total of 11 U.S. service members have been killed in Iraq and Syria this year. Galvin is the eighth American to be killed in a helicopter accident in Iraq this year after an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter crashed in western Iraq in March, killing all seven crew members aboard.

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