A U.S. Army MH-60 Black Hawk special operations helicopter crashed on San Clemente Island off the coast of San Diego, California on August 27 killing two soldiers and injuring three others.
According to a report by San Diego Union-Tribune, the Army Special Operation Command (USASOC) said in a statement that the incident occurred in the vicinity of Coronado but declined to comment further.
“At this time we are not releasing anything beyond the statement provided,” said J. Elise Van Pool, an Army spokeswoman, in an email to San Diego Union-Tribune. “We are still in the process of making next of kin notifications and will not release any additional information until that process is complete.”
San Clemente Island is the southernmost of the Channel Islands of California and is located about 70 miles west of San Diego. It is owned and operated by the U.S. Navy, and is administered by Naval Base Coronado. The island has an airfield, a bombing range and a training facility used by special operations units, such as the U.S. Navy SEALs.
MH-60M Black Hawk is the highly specialized special operations variant of U.S. Army UH-60M Black Hawk military helicopter. These helicopters are operated by the Army’s elite aviation unit, the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (160th SOAR) also known as “Night Stalkers”.
The 160th SOAR provide helicopter aviation support for general purpose forces and special operations forces (SOF). The unit uses MH-60Ms for medium assault (special forces infiltration and exfiltration) and medium attack (armed escort and close air support) missions.