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UNSUNG HEROES: The 7 Marines, 4 Soldiers Killed In Florida’s Black Hawk Helicopter Crash
Nine service members are confirmed and two more are presumed dead after a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed off the coast of Florida March 10 amid heavy fog.
It’s still unclear what caused the crash, according to a CNN report, but the pilots and crew involved were highly trained and highly experienced.
The military’s reaction recently turned from a search and rescue mission to a recovery mission after two days with no signs of life.Two bodies belonging to Louisiana National Guard soldiers with 1-244th Assault Helicopter Battalion have been recovered, along with aircraft debris and human remains.
Although the helicopter didn’t go down from enemy fire or crash in a war zone, these 11 service members, who will not be named by Task & Purpose until the Pentagon releases their names, intentionally placed their lives at risk in the interest of America’s national security. Their routine seven-day training mission was intended to simulate an inherently dangerous amphibious insertion and extraction mission that, like all training, would help improve their effectiveness in combat.
Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, expressed this sentiment when he called the crash, “a reminder to us that those who serve put themselves at risk, both in training and in combat.”
Eleven brave souls have been lost. Americans who volunteered to serve in harm’s way likely gave their lives training in hazardous conditions to do just that. In peace or in war, military service is a dangerous business.
These were elite members of our military. Members of the National Guard helicopter crew, which is based in Hammond, Louisiana, served multiple tours in Iraq and assisted with complex missions around the Gulf Coast, including the response to Hurricane Katrina in 2007 and the 2010 British Petroleum oil spill, reported the Marine Corps Times. The seven Marines were from 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The Marine Corps' special operators represent the very best of its combat arms forces.
“There is training in all conditions — that’s part of the military mission,” said Eglin Air Force Base spokeswoman Sara Vidoni, CNN reported. “They were out there doing what the military does.”
The Pentagon has identified the two soldiers were killed in combat in Afghanistan on Wednesday as members of U.S. Army Special Forces.
Master Sgt. Luis F. DeLeon-Figueroa, 31, and Master Sgt. Jose J. Gonzalez, 35, both died in Faryab Province from wounds sustained from small arms fire, the Pentagon said in a press release. The incident is under investigation.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted on Thursday of possible Israeli involvement in attacks against Iranian-linked targets in Iraq.
A series of blasts in the past few weeks have hit weapon depots and bases belonging to paramilitary groups in Iraq, many of them backed by Israel's regional foe Iran. The groups blamed the United States and Israel for the blasts on Wednesday.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that will make it easier for permanently disabled veterans to have their student loan debt forgiven.
Physical fitness tests were briefly suspended earlier this week and outdoor cardio testing will be curtailed for the remainder of the summer at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, after an airman died Saturday. She had completed her PT test on Friday.
Navy Secretary Richard Spencer has expanded a review of the Judge Advocate General Corps to include the Marine Corps, a Navy spokesman said on Thursday.
"There is value in applying this review and its subsequent recommendations across the Department of the Navy," Cmdr. Jereal Dorsey told Task & Purpose. "The review's purpose is to confirm the uniformed legal community is structurally and organizationally sound and best supporting the good order and discipline our integrated naval force."