National Guard Soldiers Killed In Rochester NY Helicopter Crash Identified: Report

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Madeline Dovi Contributor
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The U.S. Army National Guard released the names of the three soldiers killed in the helicopter crash in Mendon, New York on Wednesday night, 13Wham News reported.

The three soldiers killed were identified as Chief Warrant Officer 5 Steven Skoda of Rochester, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Christian Koch of Honeoye Falls, and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Daniel Prial of Rochester, according to 13Wham.

Skoda, 54, was a 35-year U.S. Army and National Guard veteran who served in the Afghanistan war in 2013 and 2019. He served in the Army from 1985-1987 before joining the National Guard in 1987, and began flying UH-1 helicopters from the Army Aviation Support Facility in Rochester in 1992, according to the article. (RELATED: 3 National Guard Members Killed In New York Helicopter Crash)

Koch, 39, was an infantryman for A Company of the 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry before becoming a helicopter pilot in 2006, 13Wham reported. Koch served as part of U.S. Operation Noble Eagle following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. He also held the title of Senior Instructor Pilot for his unit, according to 13Wham.

Prial, 30, deployed to Afghanistan in 2014 and 2015, and served as an instructor pilot for students at Fort Rucker in Alabama, ultimately earning the rank of captain. He was later appointed as a warranty officer in the U.S. National Guard so he could continue to fly, according to the report.

All three soldiers were assigned to the 1st Battalion’s C Company in the 171st General Support Aviation Battalion. The 171st General Support Aviation Battalion did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

The helicopter was on a routine night vision training mission when it crashed in a field about 20 miles outside of the Rochester area, according to 13Wham. The cause of the crash is still undetermined, but is under investigation by the U.S. National Guard. No timeframe for the investigation has been given.