Two airmen killed in Afghanistan helicopter crash have been identified

Maj. Phyllis J. Pelky (left) and Master Sgt. Gregory Kukse (right) died in a helicopter crash in Kabul, Afghanistan on 11OCT2015. Photo credit: U.S. Air Force

The Defense Department has released the names of the US airmen who were killed when their helicopter crashed in Kabul, Afghanistan on Sunday.

Maj. Phyllis J. Pelky, and Master Sgt. Gregory T. Kuhse, were among five people killed, when the British Puma Mk2 they were riding in, crashed at Camp Resolute Support.

Kuhse, a 38-year-old from Kalamazoo, Michigan was assigned to the 3rd Manpower Requirements Squadron at Scott Air Force Base, in Illinois.

Pelky, a 45-year-old New Mexico resident, was assigned to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and had also recently served as an aide to Air Force Academy Superintendent, Lt. Gen. Michelle T. Johnson.

Johnson said in a statement, “We are grieving a deeply-felt loss today….Our heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to the family and loved ones of Major Pelky and all those affected by this tragedy.”

Two British service members and a French civilian contractor were also killed, according to initial media reports. An eyewitness at the scene told NBC News that the helicopter hit an observation balloon while it was trying to land at the NATO base.

The cause of the helicopter crash is under investigation. Less than two weeks before the Kabul incident, six U.S. airmen died when their C-130 transport plane crashed while taking off form Jalalabad Air Field, in Afghanistan.

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  • Michele graduated with a B.S. in Telecommunication from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has spent numerous years working in the news industry in south Florida, including many positions ranging from being a news writer at WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami to being an associate news producer at WPLG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Miami. Michele has also worked in Public Relations and Marketing.

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