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US military personnel killed in Mediterranean Sea helicopter crash

Sailors conduct a helicopter in-flight refueling from the flight deck of the guided missile destroyer USS Carney in the Mediterranean Sea, Oct.10, 2023. Carney is part of the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group and is currently operating in the eastern Mediterranean Sea at the direction of the Secretary of Defense. The U.S. maintains forward-deployed, ready, and postured forces to deter aggression and support security and stability around the world. Photo: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Aaron Lau

The United States of America is in mourning for the loss of five US service members after a helicopter crash in the Mediterranean Sea.

The United States of America is in mourning for the loss of five US service members after a helicopter crash in the Mediterranean Sea.

The five military personnel were killed during a training operation after the helicopter was reportedly travelling over the eastern Mediterranean Sea on Friday, 10 November.

United States European Command (USEUCOM), responsible for US military operations across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean, said the US military aircraft suffered a mishap and crashed into the Mediterranean Sea during a routine air refuelling mission as part of military training.


“Out of respect for the affected families, and in accordance with Department of Defense policy, the identities of the crewmembers are being withheld until 24 hours after next of kin notifications have been completed,” US European Command said in a public statement.

“Search and rescue efforts began immediately, including nearby US military aircraft and ships. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the fallen. An investigation into the crash is underway.”

USEUCOM is comprised of more than 65,000 permanent military personnel supported by rotational forces and DoD civilians working closely with NATO allies and partners.

“We mourn the tragic loss of five US service members during a training accident in the Mediterranean Sea late Friday evening, said US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J Austin III on 12 November.

“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,” he said.

“They represent the best of America. We will remember their service and their sacrifice. My prayers are with the patriots we have lost today and their families, loved ones, and teammates.”

The US has moved aircraft carrier strike group resources, such as the USS Dwight D Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group and USS Gerald R Ford Carrier Strike Group, to the eastern Mediterranean to oversee ongoing conflicts between Israel, Hamas, Iran and Hezbollah.

Earlier this year, a United States military Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey aircraft crashed off Melville Island, around 80 kilometres north of Darwin in August 2023. Three US Marines were killed and 20 injured during the annual Predator Run military exercise in Australia at that time.

More than 2,500 troops took part in that exercise involving the United States, Australia, East Timor, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

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