The US military announced it has grounded aviation units for training after 12 soldiers were killed in helicopter crashes in Alaska and Kentucky last month.
“The measure grounds all military airmen, except those involved in critical missions, until they complete the required training,” the military said in a statement.
Thursday’s crash killed 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 Chief Warrant Officer 1st Stewart Duane Vement, 32, born in North Logan, Utah.
A fourth soldier was injured and was taken to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital where he is in stable condition. He could not be identified on Saturday.
“The battalion is devastated and is mourning the loss of three of its best men,” said Lt. Col. Matthew C. Carlson, commander of the 1st Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment. He stressed that their loss cannot be compared to the suffering of the soldiers’ families.
“The entire team has come together to focus our thoughts, prayers, and actions on bringing him comfort and support, and I promise this will continue in the afterlife,” he said.
A security investigation team from the US Army Combat Readiness Center at Fort Novosel, Alabama, is leading the security investigation, the officials said in an email.