FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (WKRN) — Five service members from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) based in Fort Campbell lost their lives when a military aircraft crashed into the eastern Mediterranean Sea Friday evening.
According to the U.S. European Command (EUCOM), the aircraft “suffered a mishap” during a routine air refueling mission that was part of military training. The aircraft crashed into the sea, killing all five service members on board.
EUCOM said search and rescue efforts started immediately after the crash, even using nearby U.S. military aircraft and ships.
On Monday, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that the aircraft involved in the crash was an MH-60 Blackhawk.
The five service members killed in the crash are 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.
On Sunday night, State Rep. Ronnie Glynn (D-Clarksville) posted the following statement on Facebook:
Earlier this afternoon my office received word of the passing of five service members that took place over the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. I am deeply saddened to hear about the loss of these brave service members who were apart of Ft. Campbells Special Operations Aviation Regiment. It is not lost on me that this unfortunate accident took place on Veterans Day to honor those who have served. I am praying for the families of our service members. This loss is felt not only in our community, but also around the world.State Rep. Ronnie Glynn, District 67
The City of Hopkinsville also shared a statement from the mayor on social media:
On behalf of the City of Hopkinsville, I extend my deepest condolences to the families of the five Army Special Operations service members lost during a training accident in the Mediterranean Sea this Veterans Day weekend. Let it serve as a reminder to us all of the sacrifice these soldiers and their families continue to make for our freedom.
All flags on city-government properties will be flown at half-staff.Hopkinsville Mayor James R. Knight
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the fallen,” EUCOM said, adding that the crash is currently under investigation.
The U.S. Army Special Operations Command posted a statement on Facebook saying that the organization “mourn the loss of these five incredible soldiers, each of them a national treasure.”
We mourn the loss of these five incredible soldiers, each of them a national treasure. They hail from rare patriotic families with deep military service ties that span multiple generations and formations.
This is devastating news that reverberates across the entire special operations community. Every loss is tough, but in this case, service to the Nation is truly a family business and it’s hard to express the amount of sorrow that we all feel right now.
Our thoughts and prayers are with their families, their loved ones, and their fellow soldiers. Like the special operations community always does, we will wrap our arms around them, grieve with them, and promise to never forget them.”Lt. Gen. Braga
No additional details have been released about the incident.
According to The Hill, the Pentagon has moved additional American forces to the Middle East following Hamas militants’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel. The U.S. military reportedly deployed the USS Gerald R. Ford strike group to the eastern Mediterranean and the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower strike group to the Persian Gulf.