An Ammo Box Fell From A Black Hawk And Crashed Through The Roof Of A Texas School

Bullet Points
The box of ammunition that from a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter and crashed through the roof of Parkland Elementary School in El Paso, Texas, on May 17, 2018.
Kurt Chirbas/NBC News/Twitter

A box of ammunition fell from a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter and crashed through the roof of Parkland Elementary School in El Paso, Texas, on Thursday afternoon, landing in the middle of a classroom, the Associated Press reports.

  • No one was injured: Luckily, the classroom was empty when the incident occurred around 3:45 p.m., NBC News reports, well after students were released for the day. The ammo box did, however, cause enough damage to knock out power in part of the building.

  • The unit involved: Army Col. Jay Hopkins, the relatively new commander of the 1st Armored Division Combat Aviation Brigade, took responsibility in a statement, saying he was sorry "for the damage and grateful no one was hurt," per the Associated Press.
  • More importantly: What ammo is that? You sad, sad bastards. The general armament on Army Black Hawks includes two M60D 7.62mm machine guns on M144 mounts. To my untrained eye, this sort of looks like .50 caliber belt-fed rounds for the FNH M3M/GAU-21 machine gun, which might make sense since some Black Hawks have touted .50 cal GAU-19/A Gatling guns in the past. The photo of the ammo can doesn't specify, but it does appear to include misfire instructions. I welcome your guesses and ridicule.
  • Not the worst drop this year: Relax, Col. Hopkins! At the end of February, a Canadian Armed Forces Griffon search-and-rescue helicopter returning to a U.S. Coast Guard station in Florida following a training exercise basically bombed a random house in Miami with an uninflated life raft. So things could have been a lot worse.

The news is still deeply uncomfortable,  especially considering that at least 10 people were killed amid another hail of bullets at a Texas high school shooting on Friday morning.

U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Sandra Welch

This article originally appeared on

Inside Forward Operating Base Oqab in Kabul, Afghanistan stands a wall painted with a mural of an airman kneeling before a battlefield cross. Beneath it, a black gravestone bookended with flowers and dangling dog tags displays the names of eight U.S. airmen and an American contractor killed in a horrific insider attack at Kabul International Airport in 2011.

It's one of a number of such memorials ranging from plaques, murals and concrete T-walls scattered across Afghanistan. For the last eight years, those tributes have been proof to the families of the fallen that their loved ones have not been forgotten. But with a final U.S. pullout from Afghanistan possibly imminent, those families fear the combat-zone memorials may be lost for good.

Read More Show Less
DOD photo

After a string of high profile incidents, the commander overseeing the Navy SEALs released an all hands memo stating that the elite Naval Special Warfare community has a discipline problem, and pinned the blame on those who place loyalty to their teammates over the Navy and the nation they serve.

Read More Show Less
Ed Mahoney/Kickstarter

In June 2011 Iraq's defense minister announced that U.S. troops who had deployed to the country would receive the Iraq Commitment Medal in recognition of their service. Eight years later, millions of qualified veterans have yet to receive it.

The reason: The Iraqi government has so far failed to provide the medals to the Department of Defense for approval and distribution.

A small group of veterans hopes to change that.

Read More Show Less
F-16 Fighting Falcon (Photo: US Air Force)

For a cool $8.5 million, you could be the proud owner of a "fully functioning" F-16 A/B Fighting Falcon fighter jet that a South Florida company acquired from Jordan.

The combat aircraft, which can hit a top speed of 1,357 mph at 40,000 feet, isn't showroom new — it was built in 1980. But it still has a max range of 2,400 miles and an initial climb rate of 62,000 feet per minute and remains militarized, according to The Drive, an automotive website that also covers defense topics, WBDO News 96.5 reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less