3 Soldiers Killed in Helicopter Collision, the 2nd Such Accident in Less than a Month

U.S. Army Garrison Alaska Fort Wainwright sign.
U.S. Army Garrison Alaska Fort Wainwright sign at the main entry point to the post. (U.S. Arrmy photo by Eve Baker)

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – Three soldiers were killed and one seriously injured Thursday after two U.S. Army helicopters collided midair during a training exercise.

The two AH-64 Apache helicopters from the 1st Attack Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, at Fort Wainwright crashed near Healy, Alaska, according to a statement from John Pennell, a spokesperson for the U.S. Army Alaska.

Two of the soldiers were declared dead at the scene of the crash; a third died during transport to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, about 110 miles from Healy by road. A fourth soldier is being treated for injuries at Fairbanks Memorial, the release said.

    RelatedArmy Identifies 3 Soldiers Killed in Alaska Helicopter Crash

    "This is an incredible loss for these soldiers' families, their fellow soldiers, and for the division," Maj. Gen. Brian Eifler, commanding general of the 11th Airborne Division, said in a statement. "Our hearts and prayers go out to their families, friends and loved ones, and we are making the full resources of the Army available to support them."

    The crash marks the second deadly training accident for the Army in less than a month. Nine soldiers were killed March 29 when two U.S. Army Black Hawk medical evacuation helicopters collided during a routine nighttime training exercise about 30 miles northeast of Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

    It's also the second Apache accident in Alaska this year. In February, two soldiers were injured when an Apache helicopter also from the 25th Attack Battalion rolled after taking off from Talkeetna, Alaska, about 160 miles by road from the site of Thursday's crash. That aircraft was one of four traveling to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage from Fort Wainwright.

    – The Associated Press contributed to this report.

    -- Amy Bushatz can be reached at amy.bushatz@military.com.

    Related: Black Hawks in Fatal Accident Collided in Midair, Preliminary Report Says

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