In Alaska on Thursday, tragedy struck when two AH-64 Apache helicopters collided in midair, causing a fatal crash that left three soldiers dead and another injured, according to the 11th Airborne Division.
The four soldiers were returning to Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks after a routine training flight when the accident occurred. The names of the fallen soldiers have not been released as of yet, as next of kin are being notified.
The 1st Attack Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment based at Fort Wainwright is the home base for the two helicopters involved in the accident. This is an enormous loss for the soldiers’ families, their fellow soldiers, and for the division, as stated by Maj.
Gen. Brian Eifler, commanding general of the 11th Airborne Division, in a statement. He also expressed heartfelt condolences, prayers, and support for the families, friends, and loved ones of the deceased.
The military reported that two of the soldiers passed away at the crash site, while the third passed away en route to the hospital. The injured soldier was taken to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and is being treated.
Healy, a community approximately 80 miles southwest of Fort Wainwright, is where the incident occurred, and the cause of the crash is under investigation.
Fort Wainwright, established in 1938, is an Army base in Fairbanks that is home to numerous units, including the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team and the 25th Infantry Division.
The AH-64 is an attack helicopter that has a two-person crew, a pilot, and a co-pilot gunner, according to the Army’s website.
The military has previously experienced accidents that have resulted in fatalities. In March, two Army Black Hawk helicopters collided during a training exercise west of Fort Campbell in Kentucky, resulting in the loss of nine soldiers’ lives.