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2 Fort Campbell soldiers killed in Apache crash

An AH-64E Apache helicopter flies overhead at Fort Campbell, Ky., on Aug. 9, 2017. (101st Combat Aviation Brigate)
April 08, 2018

Two soldiers were killed Friday when an AH-64E Apache helicopter crashed at Fort Campbell.

The soldiers were flying a routine training mission in a training area on the base, when the Apache crashed at about 9:50 p.m., according to a base statement.

“This is a day of sadness for Fort Campbell and the 101st Airborne,” Brig. Gen. Todd Royar, the acting senior commander of the 101st Airborne Division and Fort Campbell, said in the statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families during this difficult time.”

The names of the soldiers who died were not immediately released.

The cause of the accident remained under investigation Saturday morning.

These two soldiers are now among seven U.S. military aviators to die in a rash of training crashes in recent days.

On Tueday, Capt. Samuel A. Schultz, 1st Lt. Samuel D. Phillips, Gunnery Sgt. Derik Holley and Lance Cpl. Taylor J. Conrad were killed when their CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter wrecked as the crew practiced landing the heavy lift chopper on ungroomed grounds about 15 miles west of El Centro, California along the Mexican border, the Marines said in a statement.

Maj. Stephen Del Bagno, a member of the Air Force’s elite demonstration squad the Thunderbirds, was killed Wednesday when his F-16 crashed near Nellis Air Force Base outside Las Vegas during preparations for an airshow this weekend.

In Africa, a Marine pilot suffered minor injuries after ejecting from his AV-8B Harrier attack jet upon takeoff from an airport in Djibouti on Tuesday. Another CH-53E was damaged in yet another incident Tuesday in Djibouti.

U.S. and Djiboutian officials have since agreed to temporarily ground all American military flights from the tiny nation on the Horn of Africa, Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the director of the Joint Staff, told Stars and Stripes Thursday. He said military officials were investigating each of the recent crashes, but the Pentagon had not determined whether there were correlations between the recent incidents.

Other recent incidents included the fatal crash March 14 of a Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet off the coast of Key West, Fla., that left two pilots dead. An Air Force HH-60 Pave Hawk crash in western Iraq, also last month, killed seven airmen.

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© 2018 the Stars and Stripes

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