Seven service members killed during helicopter crash in Iraq

Service members from the 64th Expeditionary Rescue Squadron, fast rope from an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter and secure a 360-degree area, March 6. A 64 ERQS crew rescued two U.S. teachers who were hiking in Iraq, March 2. The rescue personnel are deployed from Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., and Moody Air Force Base, Ga. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class April Mullens)

A  U.S. military HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter crashed in western Iraq on Thursday night, killing all seven of the service members aboard.

“All personnel aboard were killed in the crash,” said Brig. Gen. Jonathan P. Braga, director of operations, Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve. “This tragedy reminds us of the risks our men and women face every day in service of our nations. We are thinking of the loved ones of these service members today.”

An accompanying U.S. helicopter immediately reported the crash and a quick reaction force comprised of Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition members secured the scene.

“We are grateful to the Iraqi Security Forces for their immediate assistance in response to this tragic incident,” Braga said. “Iraqi Security Forces continue to demonstrate their professionalism, capabilities and flexibility as we continue the fight towards a lasting defeat of Daesh.”

The crash does not appear to be a result of enemy activity, according to military officials.

Names of the fallen will be released by the U.S. Department of Defense after next of kin have been notified.

This incident is under investigation.

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