The US Army has identified the nine soldiers killed in a mid-air collision between two Black Hawk helicopters near Fort Campbell, Kentucky, on Friday evening.
The U.S. military personnel were boarding two HH60 Blackhawk helicopters during a routine training mission when the incident occurred, the military said in a news release.
One helicopter had five crew members and the other had four, army officials said during a news briefing on the collision. The accident occurred near a residential field so “no residents were injured as a result of the crash,” they said.
“This is a very sad time for the 101st Airborne Division,” Maj. Gen. JP McGee, commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division, said in a statement Friday. “The loss of these Soldiers will reverberate through our formation for years to come. Now is a time to grieve and heal. The entire department and this community stand with the families and friends of our fallen Soldiers.”
Here’s what we know about the fallen soldiers from the U.S. Army’s released personnel records:
Warrant Officer 1 Jeffrey Burns, 33, Milton, Florida:
Florida native Jeffrey Barnes enlisted in the Army in 2010. He trained at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and Fort Eustis, Virginia. Burns’ service includes a deployment to Afghanistan.
Cpl Emily Marie Eve Bolanos, 23, of Austin, Texas:
Bolanos was born on December 20, 1991 in the Philippines. In 2019, he enlisted in the army. He trained at Fort Jackson and Fort Eustis. Bolanos spent nine months in Germany.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Zachary Esparza, 36, Jackson, Missouri:
In 2010, Texas native Esparza enlisted in the Army. He trained at Fort Jackson and Fort Gordon, Georgia. Esparza has served numerous overseas missions, including two overseas tours to Japan and Hawaii. He was deployed to Afghanistan and served 10 months in Egypt.
Sergeant Isaac Gayo, 27, Los Angeles, California:
Gayo was born in the Philippines and enlisted in the Army in 2019. He was living in Los Angeles and trained at Fort Jackson and Fort Eustis. Gayo was later assigned to Camp Humphreys, Korea, where he served in many capacities on the UH-60 crew.
Staff Sergeant Joshua C. Gore, 25, Morehead City, North Carolina:
Born in Virginia, Gore enlisted in the Army from Morehead City, North Carolina. Gore trained at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He also served as a flight paramedic.
Warrant Officer 1 Aaron Healy, 32, Cape Coral, Florida
A Florida native, Healy enlisted in the Army from Cape Coral. Haley attended basic training at Fort Jackson, then at the Army Ordnance School at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. Healy served as an aeromedical evacuation pilot. He deployed to Afghanistan for two tours.
Staff Sergeant Taylor Mitchell, 30, of Mountain Brook, Alabama
Mitchell, an Alabama native, enlisted in the Army in 2014. After basic training at Fort Jackson, he was assigned to Vilseck, Germany as a health care specialist. Mitchell served two international tours in Romania and Germany as a flight paramedic.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Rusten Smith, 32, of Rolla, Missouri
Smith, a Florida native, enlisted in the Army in 2012 from Rolla, Missouri. After attending basic training, Smith attended advanced personal training at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. Smith served as an instructor pilot and was deployed twice to Afghanistan. Smith served nine months in Germany in 2020.
Sergeant David Solinas Jr., 23, of Oradell, New Jersey:
A native of New Jersey, Solinas enlisted in the Army in 2018. He trained at both Fort Sill and Fort Sam Houston. Solinas served as a combat medic at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
— Mark Schwartz contributed reporting.
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