A U.S. Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk combat search and rescue (CSAR) helicopter has crashed near the city of Al Qaim in western Iraq’s Anbar Province near the country’s border with Syria, killing all seven service members onboard.
According to the statement from U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), the crash happened at approximately 6:45 p.m. GMT on March 15, 2018. The statement added that the crash does not appear to be a result of enemy activity and that the incident is under investigation.
“All personnel aboard were killed in the crash,” said Brig. Gen. Jonathan P. Braga, director of operations, Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve. “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”, he added.
An accompanying U.S. helicopter immediately reported the crash and a quick reaction force comprised of Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition members secured the scene.
“We are grateful to the Iraqi Security Forces for their immediate assistance in response to this tragic incident,” Braga said. “Iraqi Security Forces continue to demonstrate their professionalism, capabilities and flexibility as we continue the fight towards a lasting defeat of Daesh.”
The statement said that the names of the fallen will be released by the U.S. Department of Defense after next of kin have been notified.
Sikorsky MH-60G/ HH-60G Pave Hawk
Sikorsky MH-60G/ HH-60G Pave Hawk is a twin-turboshaft engine helicopter in service with the United States Air Force (USAF).
It is a derivative of the UH-60 Black Hawk and incorporates the USAF PAVE electronic systems program. The HH-60/MH-60 is a member of the Sikorsky S-70 family.
The MH-60G Pave Hawk’s primary mission is insertion and recovery of special operations personnel, while the HH-60G Pave Hawk’s core mission is recovery of personnel under hostile conditions, including combat search and rescue (CSAR). Both versions conduct day or night operations into hostile environments.
Because of its versatility, the HH-60G may also perform peacetime operations such as civil search and rescue (SAR), emergency aeromedical evacuation (MEDEVAC), disaster relief, international aid and counter-drug activities.