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December 2, 2023 2:38 am

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U.S. Army MH-60 Of Elite Night Stalkers Unit Crashes In The Eastern Med Sea Killing Five Soldiers



File picture of a U.S. Military MH-60 Black Hawk with the a hundred and sixtieth Particular Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) throughout night time air-to-air refueling (U.S. Marine Corps picture by Cpl. Carlos Jimenez)

5 crew members aboard a Black Hawk of the U.S. Military a hundred and sixtieth Particular Operations Aviation Regiment have died within the crash of a Particular Operations helicopter off Cyprus.

Within the night of Nov. 10, 2023, a U.S. plane crashed within the jap Mediterranean Sea.

Little details about the incident was launched by official sources. U.S. EUCOM stated: “On the night of November 10, a U.S. army plane conducting coaching operations within the jap Mediterranean suffered a mishap and went down. Out of respect for the households affected, we won’t launch additional data on the personnel concerned right now. The reason for the coaching incident is at present below investigation.”

To nip any kind of bizarre hypothesis within the bud, the official launch added “Nonetheless, we are able to definitively say that the plane sortie was purely associated to coaching and there aren’t any indications of hostile exercise. We’ll present extra data because the state of affairs develops.”

In different phrases, though it didn’t disclose many particulars (not even the kind of plane – a bit uncommon for such incidents), the U.S. Command wished to make it clear that the mishap was not attributable to combat-related exercise nor enemy actions.

On Nov. 13, the U.S. Division of Protection recognized the 5 troopers who have been killed within the crash of the MH-60 helicopter of the a hundred and sixtieth SOAR: Chief Warrant Officer 3 Stephen R. Dwyer, 38, of Clarksville, Tennessee; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Shane M. Barnes, 34, of Sacramento, California; Employees Sgt. Tanner W. Grone, 26, of Gorham, New Hampshire; Sgt. Andrew P. Southard, 27, of Apache Junction, Arizona; and Sgt. Cade M. Wolfe, 24, of Mankato, Minnesota.

In response to the Pentagon, the MH-60 was conducting aerial refueling coaching when the plane skilled an in-flight emergency ensuing within the crash.

The 160th SOAR (Particular Operations Aviation Regiment) is a highly-specialized fight aviation unit headquartered at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. The Night Stalkers assist elite U.S. and coalition fight items like Military Particular Forces, Naval Particular Warfare (SEALs) and different particular operations items. a hundred and sixtieth SOAR primarily function at night time (therefore their title) in assault, assault, reconnaissance, infiltration and exfiltration, and any form of known or unknown special operations you could think about.

The Evening Stalkers have operated a number of totally different Black Hawk variants. Presently, they function the MH-60M in two roles: Assault and DAP (Defensive Air Penetrator), with the latter using the gunship variant.

Right here’s what we wrote in regards to the unit when we published some rare images of the Night Stalkers training in plain daylight near the Dam Neck Annex of Oceana Naval Air Station, Virginia.

The U.S. Military’s a hundred and sixtieth SOAR makes a speciality of night time flying at low altitude for clandestine insertions into denied areas. Plane flown by the Nightstalkers have an unique communications and sensor suite on board accounting for the huge variety of antennae and imaginative and prescient programs protruding from the helicopters. The MH-60M Blackhawks have a blinding array of particular safe radios, sensors and satellite tv for pc communications on board. They embody the AN/ARC-201D single channel floor and airborne radio system (SINCGARS), 4 onboard Raytheon AN/ARC-231 Skyfire radios, two of them geared up with satellite tv for pc communications functionality, two AN/ARC-220 excessive frequency radios, an MTX Blue Pressure Tracker to stop unintentional pleasant fireplace engagements. The nostril of the MH-60M additionally options the Raytheon AN/APQ-187 SilentKnight radar for terrain-following at low altitude at night time and the Raytheon AN/ZSQ-2 EOSS electro-optical (EO) and infrared (FLIR) cameras for night time imaginative and prescient. Nightstalker pilots are additionally essentially the most proficient aviators on the planet at harmful low-altitude, night time imaginative and prescient goggle flying.

The unit can be fairly well-known for the mission to seize Osama bin Laden, Operation Neptune’s Spear, on May 1, 2011, a raid throughout which the Evening Stakers flew a categorised, low-observable variant of the Blackhawk helicopter that has since been popularly referred to in hypothesis because the “MH-X Stealth Black Hawk” or “Silent Hawk”.

MH-60s of the Evening Stalkers frequently practice to hold out HAAR (Helicopter Air-to-Air Refueling) with U.S. Marine Corps KC-130Js at house and overseas.

We don’t know the place the MH-60 had launched from: because it crashed off Cyprus it appears affordable to consider it was deployed to RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus, the place various C-17 flights have been noticed previously weeks, following the warfare between Israel and Hamas. Nonetheless, we are able to’t fully rule out it took off from one other base within the area or a U.S. warship (the Ford Provider Strike Group is within the space).

U.S. particular operations forces have been moved to the area, as a part of a contingency planning across the disaster within the Gaza Strip, and readied in case an evacuation of US residents from the area is ordered.

David Cenciotti is a journalist based mostly in Rome, Italy. He’s the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of many world’s most well-known and browse army aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for main worldwide magazines, together with Air Forces Month-to-month, Fight Plane, and lots of others, masking aviation, protection, warfare, trade, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown a number of fight planes with totally different air forces. He’s a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Pressure, a non-public pilot and a graduate in Laptop Engineering. He has written 5 books and contributed to many extra ones.


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