A U.S. military MH-60 Black Hawk special operations helicopter has crashed at approximately 10 p.m. GMT on Aug. 19 in Iraq killing one Coalition service member and injuring several others.
The statement from the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF–OIR) said the the aircraft was conducting a partnered counterterrorism mission in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Operation Inherent Resolve is the U.S. military’s operational name for the military intervention against the Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria.
The helicopter involved in the crash belonged to the U.S. Army’s 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (10th SOAR), called the “Night Stalkers”, which provide helicopter aviation support for general purpose forces and special operations forces (SOF).
Newsweek reported that the helicopter was returning to base after conducting a small-scale raid in an undisclosed region and there were ten U.S. military personnel were onboard the aircraft. All personnel were recovered by Coalition forces immediately following the incident, and three were evacuated for further treatment.
The CJTF–OIR statement added that there are no indications the crash was caused by hostile fire and that the incident is under investigation. The deceased service member’s name and further details pertaining to the incident will be released by the pertinent national authorities.
This marked the second crash of a U.S. military Black Hawk helicopter in Iraq in the last five months. On March 15, a U.S. Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk combat search and rescue (CSAR) helicopter has crashed after striking a power line 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.
MH-60M Black Hawk is the highly specialized special operations variant of U.S. Army UH-60M Black Hawk military helicopter. They are flown exclusively by the U.S. Army’s 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR).
160th SOAR uses MH-60Ms for medium assault (special forces infiltration and exfiltration) and medium attack (armed escort and close air support) missions.