The three troops killed after two helicopters collided in Alaska while returning from a training exercise were recognized by the U.S. Army on Saturday. One of them was a North Logan resident. Chief Warrant Officer 3 Christopher Robert Eramo, 39, of Oneonta, New York, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kyle D. McKenna, 28, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Warrant Officer 1 Stewart Duane Wayment, 32, of North Logan, Utah were all fatalities in the accident on Thursday.
Wayment leaves behind a wife and three boys, say family members. Funeral arrangements are still being made. A fourth soldier suffered an injury and was transferred to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, where his condition was recorded as stable. He went unnamed on Saturday.
When the helicopters crashed at 1:39 pm on Thursday, they were on their way to Fort Wainwright after a mission in the Donnelly Training Area, which is located about 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Healy. After 12 troops lost their lives in helicopter crashes in Kentucky and Alaska within the past month, the U.S. Army stated Friday that it had put aviation units on indefinite hold for training.
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All Army aviators have been placed on indefinite leave, with the exception of those taking part in crucial operations, according to a statement from the Army. The battalion is crushed and grieving the death of three of our best, according to Lt. Col. Matthew C. Carlsen, the commander of the 1-25th AB. Their loss is incomparable to the pain experienced by the soldiers’ families.
The safety inquiry is being led by a Safety inquiry Team from the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center, located at Fort Novosel, Alabama, according to officials. “The entire team has come together to focus our thoughts, prayers, and actions to provide and sustain them with whatever comfort and support they need at this time,” Carlsen stated. “And I promise that this will continue long into the future.”
According to the statement, the investigators are not permitted to provide any material to the public regarding the causes, analyses, or internal recommendations due to Department of Defense directives and Army laws. The loss of these Soldiers is terrible and is being felt by family, friends, and military communities throughout Alaska, according to Maj. Gen.
Brian Eifler, commanding general of the 11th Airborne Division. The families of 1-25 and Fort Wainwright are the best teams I’ve ever seen. The families, friends, and loved ones of the fallen are in our thoughts and prayers as our hearts are heavy.