- A US military Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk crashed in western Iraq on Thursday.
- All personnel aboard the helicopter – believed to be seven crew members – were confirmed to be killed.
- Rescue forces have been dispatched and an investigation is ongoing.
A US military Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk crashed in western Iraq on Thursday, the Pentagon confirmed Friday morning.
“All personnel aboard were killed in the crash,” Brig. Gen. Jonathan P. Braga, the director of operations of Operation Inherent Resolve, said in a statement. “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.”
Seven US Air Force airmen are believed to have been onboard during the incident.
An investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing, but initial reports indicate the airmen were not on a combat mission and no hostile fire was taken, according to US Defence Department officials. Braga confirmed that the crash did not appear to be caused by enemy fire.
The primary role of the HH-60 is to conduct search and rescue operations. As a modified UH-60 Black Hawk, the capabilities of the HH-60 includes various communications and search tools to provide medical evacuations disaster response, and humanitarian assistance.
Peter Jacobs contributed reporting to this story.