5 Army Special Ops Soldiers Die in Helicopter 'Mishap' over Mediterranean Sea

Five members of the U.S. Army were killed in a training accident late Friday when their helicopter had a “mishap” causing it to crash into the Mediterranean Sea, officials said Sunday.

Army representatives confirmed to the New York Times that the victims were all special operations soldiers and that search and rescue efforts continued until Saturday before being called off.

U.S. European Command said on Saturday that the cause of the MH-60 helicopter failure is under investigation, but “there are no indications of hostile activity,” ABC News reported.

The command, headquartered in Germany, added on Sunday that the aircraft was on a “routine air refueling mission” when the “mishap” occurred.

The helicopter went down near the island nation of Cyprus in the eastern part of the Mediterranean.

The special operations team was recently deployed to the region “to be in place if needed to help evacuate American citizens from the region amid the unfolding Israel-Hamas war,” the outlet reported.

The deceased service members have not yet been publicly identified, pending notification of their families.

“We mourn the tragic loss of five U.S. service members during a training accident in the Mediterranean Sea late Friday evening,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a Sunday statement.

Kabul Air Force - US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks to the press on August 18, 2021, at the Pentagon in Washington, DC. - Austin said Wednesday that US forces would evacuate as many people as possible from the Kabul airport as thousands pressed to leave after the Taliban takeover of the country. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks to the press on August 18, 2021, at the Pentagon in Washington, DC. (OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

“While we continue to gather more information about this deadly crash, it is another stark reminder that the brave men and women who defend our great nation put their lives on the line each and every day to keep our country safe. They represent the best of America. We will remember their service and their sacrifice,” the retired four-star Army general general said. 

“My prayers are with the patriots we have lost today and their families, loved ones, and teammates,” he added.

President Joe Biden also made a statement on X.

“Jill and I mourn the loss of 5 American service members who died when their aircraft crashed in the Mediterranean Sea during a training mission. We are praying for the families and friends who lost a precious loved one — a piece of their soul. Our entire nation shares their grief.”


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