Five Ft. Campbell soldiers killed during weekend helicopter crash
Five U.S. Army soldiers stationed at the Ft. Campbell military base have died during a helicopter crash in the Mediterranean Sea over the weekend. The aircraft and soldiers were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.
According to the Department of Defense, the deceased soldiers have been identified as Stephen Dwyer, 38, of Tennessee; Shane Barnes, 34, of California; Tanner Grone, 26, of New Hampshire; Andrew Southard, 27, of Arizona and Cade Wolfe, 24, of Minnesota. The soldiers were members of the aviation special operations forces based in Ft. Campbell.
According to a report from the DOD, the flight crew was conducting an aerial refueling exercise when the Blackhawk helicopter carrying the crew went down. The DOD said the crash was not a result of hostile fire. In a post on social media, Gov. Andy Beshear asked Kentuckians to pray for the friends and families of the soldiers as well as servicemen nationwide.
Our nation is joining together to mourn the 5 American service members who died during a training mission when their aircraft crashed in the Mediterranean Sea. These brave service members were headquartered in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. 1/2— Governor Andy Beshear (@GovAndyBeshear) November 13, 2023
It's the second tragedy this year involving multiple deaths of soldiers stationed at the military base along the Kentucky-Tennessee border. In March, nine Ft. Campbell soldiers were killed during a training mission at the base when two military helicopters crashed.
Lt. Gen. Jonathan Braga said each soldier had individual talents that would be missed deeply by the armed forces.
“We mourn the loss of these five incredible soldiers, each of them a national treasure,” Braga said. “They hail from rare patriotic families with deep military service ties that span multiple generations and formations.”
The fallen soldiers received high honors within the Army and saw multiple combat deployments during their service careers.