The Army has released the names of the three soldiers who died in a helicopter crash in Alaska this past week. They are:
- Chief Warrant Officer 3 Christopher Robert Eramo, 39, of Oneonta, New York.
- Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kyle D. McKenna, 28, of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
- Warrant Officer 1 Stewart Duane Wayment, 32, of North Logan, Utah.
A fourth soldier was injured in the crash and taken to a hospital, but has not been identified.
All the soldiers belonged to 1st Attack Battalion, 25th Aviation based at Fort Wainwright.
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“The battalion is devastated and mourning the loss of three of our best,” said Lt. Col. Matthew C. Carlsen, the 1-25th AB commander. “Our loss, however, cannot be compared to the suffering and loss which the family members of Chief Warrant Officer 3 Chris Eramo, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kyle McKenna and Warrant Officer 1 Stewart ‘Stew’ Wayment are experiencing.
The three soldiers were killed on Thursday after two AH-64 Apache helicopters collided with each other near Healy, Alaska. At the time they were on their way back to base after completing a training mission.
The cause of the collision is still undetermined. A team from the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center is in charge of the investigation. Per Department of Defense regulations, the USCARC will not be releasing any information about potential causes or its own recommendations.
Following Thursday’s crash, the Army ordered a 24-hour stand down for all aerial units. The Army has between May 1-5 to complete it while the Army NationalGuardand Army Reserve have through May 31.
The incident in Alaska comes only a few weeks after two Army HH-60 Black Hawk helicopters crashed in a field in Kentucky, killing nine soldiers with the 101st Airborne. At the time the helicopters were flying in a multiship formation as part of a routine training exercise involving night vision goggles. That crash is also under investigation.
There have been other aircraft-related incidents this year, including a fatal crash in February that killed two Tennessee Army National Guard soldiers, as well as another incident in Alaska where two soldiers were hurt after an Apache helicopter rolled during an attempted take off.
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