Two U.S. Army Helicopters Crash in Alaska, Killing 3 Soldiers

Two U.S. Army helicopters returning from a training flight crashed in Alaska on Thursday with four people aboard, killing three soldiers and injuring the fourth, Army officials said.

The Army’s 11th Airborne Division confirmed the deaths late Thursday, saying that the two AH-64 Apache helicopters had crashed near Healy, Alaska, which is more than 200 miles north of Anchorage. Two of the four soldiers were declared dead at the crash site, and a third died on the way to a hospital in Fairbanks, it said.

“This is an incredible loss for these soldiers’ families, their fellow soldiers, and for the division,” Maj. Gen. Brian Eifler, the division’s commanding general, said in a statement.

The Army said it was withholding the names of the dead until their families could be notified, and that the incident was under investigation. John M. Pennell, a spokesman for 11th Airborne Division, said that he did not yet have details on the injured soldier’s condition.

The helicopters were from the 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, at Fort Wainwright, officials said.

The crash was one of several recent crashes involving U.S. Army helicopters. Last month, two Black Hawk helicopters collided during a routine training mission near the Kentucky-Tennessee border, killing nine soldiers. And in February, two soldiers were injured when an Apache helicopter crashed after takeoff in Alaska.

In 2019, three Army National Guard members were killed when the Black Hawk helicopter that was carrying them crashed during a test flight in Minnesota. In 2015, 11 people were killed after an Army helicopter conducting a training mission went down in a thick blanket of fog over the waters of Santa Rosa Sound, Fla.

Other branches of the U.S. military, including the Navy and the National Guard, have reported similar incidents.

Between 2012 and 2021, nearly 300 National Guard helicopters crashed during noncombat flights, according to federal government investigators, who last month recommended that the National Guard reassess its safety protocols. In June, the U.S. Navy temporarily grounded flights to conduct safety reviews.

Mike Ives contributed reporting.

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