Tragedy Strikes U.S. Army as Two Helicopters Collide During Training Mission in Alaska
On Thursday, April 27th, tragedy struck the U.S. Army as two AH-64 Apache helicopters crashed in Alaska during a training mission. The helicopters were from the 1st Attack Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, at Fort Wainwright, and collided in mid-air near the town of Healy. Two soldiers were declared dead at the scene, while a third died en route to the hospital. The fourth soldier survived but was injured and is being treated in the hospital. The names of the soldiers have not yet been released. The incident is being investigated by a team from the Army Combat Readiness Center in Alabama.
This is not the first fatal helicopter crash for the U.S. Army this year. On March 29th, two Black Hawk helicopters crashed during a nighttime training mission in Kentucky, leaving nine soldiers dead. The recent accidents have prompted Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville to order a safety stand down, grounding all Army aviators except those on critical missions until they complete the required training.
Maj. Gen. Brian Eifler, commanding general of the 11th Airborne Division, expressed his condolences, saying, “This is an incredible loss for these soldiers’ families, their fellow soldiers, and for the division. We extend our sympathy and offer our prayers to the families, friends, and loved ones of those affected. We pledge to provide the Army's complete resources to assist them.
The Fort Wainwright community is also rallying together to support the families of the fallen soldiers. Eifler stated, “The Fort Wainwright community is one of the tightest military communities I’ve seen in my 32 years of service. I am confident that they will unite and offer solace to the families of our deceased during this unprecedented period of crisis.
The tragic incidents have highlighted the importance of safety and training protocols for Army pilots and crews. The safety of aviators is a top priority, and the Army is committed to doing everything possible to prevent accidents and protect their personnel. The investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing, and more information will be released as it becomes available.
0. “3 Pilots Dead, 1 Survives as U.S. Army Helicopters Collide in Alaska” The Daily Beast, 27 Apr. 2023, https://www.thedailybeast.com/3-pilots-dead-1-survives-as-us-army-helicopters-collide-in-alaska-crash
1. “Three dead after two Apache helicopters collide in Alaska” ArmyTimes.com, 28 Apr. 2023, https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2023/04/28/two-apache-helicopters-crash-in-alaska
2. “3 soldiers are dead after a pair of Army helicopters collided near Healy” KTOO, 28 Apr. 2023, https://www.ktoo.org/2023/04/28/3-soldiers-are-dead-after-a-pair-of-army-helicopters-collided-near-healy/
3. “3 Soldiers Dead, 1 Injured After 2 U.S. Army Helicopters Collide in Alaska” PEOPLE, 28 Apr. 2023, https://people.com/human-interest/2-us-army-helicopters-crash-in-alaska-killing-3-soldiers
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5. “US Army grounds its aircraft after recent mid-air collisions” BBC, 29 Apr. 2023, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-65433660
6. “U.S. Army grounds all non-critical aircraft after latest fatal mid-air collision” CBS News, 29 Apr. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/army-grounds-all-non-critical-aircraft-alaska-mid-air-collision-helicopters/
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