Schofield Black Hawk crashes in Afghanistan
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Sources say that a Black Hawk helicopter that crashed during a firefight with insurgents in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, killing 11, was based out of Schofield Barracks in Wahiawa.
Seven Americans and four Afghans died in the crash, one of the deadliest air disasters of the war.
The identities of two of the soldiers killed in the crash have been revealed, though it is unclear at this time just how many of the seven American casualties were based in Hawaii. Our partners at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser report that at least some of the service members who died were locally based.
The families of Richard Essex and David Warsen say that the military has notified them about their deaths. Hawaii News Now has also learned that the wife of a Navy explosives expert who was killed in the crash is currently staying on Oahu with her family.
In April, Waipahu native Don Viray was one of four service members killed in a Black Hawk crash in Afghanistan. All four of the victims killed in that were based at Wheeler Army Airfield.
Thursday's crash was the deadliest since a Turkish helicopter struck a house near the Afghan capital of Kabul on March 16, killing 12 Turkish soldiers on board and four Afghan civilians on the ground. In August of 2011, insurgents shot down a Chinook helicopter, killing 30 American troops, mostly elite Navy SEALs, in the Wardak province of central Afghanistan.
At least 26 Americans have been killed so far this month and at least 219 so far this year. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for Thursday's crash.
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