The Pentagon identified five service members on board a MH-60 Blackhawk that crashed over the Eastern Mediterranean Sea on Saturday. From left, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Stephen R. Dwyer, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Shane M. Barnes, Staff Sgt. Tanner W. Grone, Sgt. Andrew P. Southard and Sgt. Cade M. Wolfe. Photo: U.S. Department of Defense and WKYT
A routine arial refueling training in-flight emergency over the Eastern Mediterranean Sea has claimed the lives of five soldiers from the U.S. Army Special Operations stationed out at Fort Campbell, Ky., on Friday.
Early Monday morning, the Pentagon released the names of the fallen. They are as followed:
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Stephen R. Dwyer, 38; of Clarksville, Tenn.; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Shane M. Barnes, 34; of Sacramento; Staff Sgt. Tanner W. Grone, 26, of Gorman, N.H.; Sgt. Andrew P. Southard, 27, of Apache Junction, Ariz. and Sgt. Cade M. Wolfe, 24; of Mankato, Minn.
The 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), also known as Night Stalkers for their nighttime operations, are soldiers who are highly trained and ready at a moment’s notice to accomplish some of the toughest missions presented to them. They deploy CH-47 Chinooks, UH-60 Black Hawks, and AH/MH-6 Little Bird helicopters.
They are based out of Fort Campbell, Ky. but they have various different areas of command locations to support operations of Enduring Freedom. There are comprised of just about 3,000 soldiers and more than 200 aircraft, according to the U.S. Special Command Operations
President Joe Biden released a statement on Sunday expressing his condolences for the service members that were lost:
“(Sunday), Jill and I mourn the loss of five American service members who died when their aircraft crashed in the Mediterranean Sea during a routine training mission. Our service members put their lives on the line for our country every day. They willingly take risks to keep the American people safe and secure. And their daily bravery and selflessness is an enduring testament to what is best in our nation. Jill and I are praying for the families and friends who have lost a precious loved one—a piece of their soul. Our entire nation shares their grief. And, during this weekend when we pause to honor our nation’s veterans, we once more affirm the sacred obligation we bear to those who volunteer to serve our nation as well as their families, caregivers, and survivors. We pray for the families of all our fallen warriors today and every day.”