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US Army grounds its aircraft after 2 deadly mid-air crashes killed 12 soldiers

AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters fly over a mountain range near Fort Wainwright, Alaska, on June 3, 2019.AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters fly over a mountain range near Fort Wainwright, Alaska, on June 3, 2019.

Cameron Roxberry/U.S. Army via AP

  • The US Army has temporarily grounded all its aviation units except those on “critical missions.”
  • The order follows two mid-air collisions in Alaska and Kentucky that killed 12 soldiers.
  • Units will remain grounded until they complete extra training, the army said. 

The US Army has temporarily grounded aviation units for training after two recent mid-air crashes killed 12 soldiers.

The suspension is effective immediately and grounds all aircraft except those “participating in critical missions,” an Army statement said on Friday, according to the Associated Press.

Air operations will remain suspended until units complete the training, which will take place between May 1 and 5 for active-duty units, and by May 31 for Army National Guard and Reserve units, Army spokesperson Lt. Col. Terence Kelley said, per AP.

The order comes after two Apache helicopters collided near Healy, Alaska, on Thursday, killing three soldiers and injuring one. 

The troops, who were part of the 11th Airborne Division, nicknamed the “Arctic Angels,” were returning from a training mission when the accident took place.

The incident followed another fatal collision in March in which two Black Hawk medical evacuation helicopters crashed and killed nine soldiers. 

The Army said that the two crashes are under investigation, but “there is no indication of any pattern between the two mishaps,” AP reported.

“We are deeply saddened by those we have lost,” Army Chief of Staff James McConville said in a statement, according to the BBC.

 “It is their loss that makes it all the more important we review our safety procedures and training protocols and ensure we are training and operating at the highest levels of safety and proficiency.”

 

Read the original article on Business Insider
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