Eight US Special ops personnel killed in Afghanistan helo




Eight special operations personnel killed in Afghanistan helicopter crash
From official military releases and staff reports

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, Feb. 20, 2007) – Seven Army Special Operations Soldiers were killed in a Feb. 18 crash of a MH-47 Chinook helicopter in Afghanistan.

According to a Department of Defense release, killed in the crash were:
-Pfc. Ryan C. Garbs, 20, of Edwardsville, Ill.; B Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Ga.
-Spec. Brandon D. Gordon, 21, of Naples, Fla.; B Company, 2nd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), Fort Campbell, Ky.
-CW3 Hershel D. McCants, Jr., 33, of Arizona; B Co., 2nd Bn, 160th SOAR(A).
-CW3 John A. Quinlan, 36, of New Jersey; B Co., 2nd Bn, 160th SOAR(A).
-Pfc. Kristofer D. Thomas, 18, of Roseville, Calif.; B Co., 3rd Bn., 75th Ranger Regiment.
-Spec. Travis R. Vaughn, 26, of Reinbeck, Iowa; B Co., 2nd Bn, 160th SOAR(A).
-Sgt. Adam A. Wilkinson, 23, of Miskayuna, N.Y.; B Co., 2nd Bn, 160th SOAR(A).

A member of the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command was also killed in the crash. TSgt. Scott Duffman, of La Cueva, N.M., was assigned to the 24th Special Tactics Squadron, Pope Air Force Base, N.C.

In a statement, 160th Commander Col. Kevin W. Mangum said, “The aircraft was crewed by an exceptionally qualified team of professionals and was flying in a formation of other aircraft in performance of this mission. It is unclear at this time as to exactly what caused the aircraft to crash onto a high plain in southeastern Afghanistan.

“While it is important that we investigate and determine what caused this tragic event - which we will - our immediate and lasting concern is for the families and friends of the extraordinary men who served their country with distinction,” Mangum said.

Fourteen others were wounded in the crash when the helicopter reportedly had a sudden, unexplained loss of power and control before crashing in southeastern Afghanistan.

A combat search and rescue operation was launched immediately to secure the site and recover the passengers. Wounded personnel were transported to Coalition medical facilities for treatment.

The helicopter was carrying 22 people, including aircrew, at the time of the crash.

“The loss of these service members is felt by all of us here in Afghanistan, and we offer our deepest sympathy to the families of those who were killed,” said Lt. Col. David Accetta, Coalition spokesman at a press briefing immediately following the incident.

The 160th SOAR has tentatively scheduled a unit memorial for Feb. 21 at 1 p.m. (CST) in the Passenger Processing Center at Fort Campbell, Ky. It is closed to the media. Plans for the 75th Ranger Regiment memorial have not been set.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.
A very sad incident. RIP.
Dreadful. RIP
RIP Guys.

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