Army identifies 9 soldiers killed in dual Black Hawk crashes
Rest in peace.
The 101st Airborne Division has released the names of nine soldiers who were killed when two HH-60 Black Hawk helicopters crashed in Kentucky on Wednesday night .
The following soldiers were killed in the crash:
- Warrant Officer Jeffery Barnes, 33, of Milton, Florida
- Cpl. Emilie Marie Eve Bolanos, 23, of Austin, Texas
- Chief Warrant Officer 2 Zachary Esparza, 36, of Jackson, Missouri
- Sgt. Isaacjohn Gayo, 27, of Los Angeles, California
- Staff Sgt. Joshua C. Gore, 25, of Morehead City, North Carolina
- Warrant Officer Aaron Healy, 32, of Cape Coral, Florida
- Staff Sgt. Taylor Mitchell, 30, of Mountain Brook, Alabama
- Chief Warrant Officer 2 Rusten Smith, 32, of Rolla, Missouri
- Sgt. David Solinas Jr, 23, of Oradell, New Jersey
Barnes enlisted in the Army in 2010 and later deployed in support of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan. He graduated from Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape School (High Risk) and served as an Aeromedical Evacuation Pilot for the Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division starting in October 2022.
Bolanos joined the Army in 2019 and graduated from the Basic Leader Course in 2022. She served in Germany for nine months in 2022 as part of Atlantic Resolve.
Esparza joined the Army in 2010 and later deployed to Afghanistan from 2013 to 2014. He also deployed to Egypt and served in Japan and Hawaii.
Gayo joined the Army in 2019 and went on to graduate from the Basic Leader Course and Air Assault School, receiving a Field Sanitation Team Certification. He served in South Korea and joined the Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division in October 2020.
Gore joined the Army in 2015 and served as a flight paramedic with the Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division starting in May 2022. He completed Flight Paramedic Training, Critical Care Paramedic Training, and the Army Medical Department Aviation Crewmember Course. He also graduated from the Emergency Medical Technician Certification Course, Air Assault School, Brigade Combat Team Trauma Training, and Basic Leader Course.
Healy joined the Army in 2010 and went on to deploy to Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012 and again in 2014. He graduated from Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape School (High Risk) and had served as an Aeromedical Evacuation Pilot for the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division since 2022.
Mitchell joined the Army in 2014 and deployed to Romania in 2019 and Germany in 2020 in support of Atlantic Resolve. He became a Flight Paramedic for the Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, in November 2020.
Smith joined the Army in 2012 and deployed to Afghanistan twice – first in 2013 and again from 2018 to 2019 – before deploying to Germany for nine months in 2020 as part of Atlantic Resolve. He had served as an Instructor Pilot for the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division since 2022.
Solinas joined the Army in 2018 and initially served as a combat medic with the 82nd Airborne Division. He became a Flight Paramedic for the Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division in October 2022.
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Investigators are working to determine the cause of Wednesday’s crash. At the time, the two helicopters were training to fly in a multi-ship formation while using night vision goggles, Army Brig. Gen. John Lubas told reporters on Thursday.
No one on the ground was injured by the crash, said Lubas, who serves as the deputy commanding officer for operations with the 101st Airborne Division.
“This is a time of great sadness for the 101st Airborne Division,” Maj. Gen. JP McGee, commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division, said in a statement on Friday. “The loss of these soldiers will reverberate through our formations for years to come. Now is the time for grieving and healing. The whole division and this community stand behind the families and friends of our fallen soldiers.”
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