Five U.S. service members have reportedly died after their military aircraft crashed into the Mediterranean Seat during a routine refueling training mission. Search and rescue efforts immediately began after the incident occurred.
Fox News Digital reported that the U.S. European Command stated that the aircraft had experienced “a mishap” and crashed into the sea during a routine training mission. All five service members on board are believed to have been killed in the incident.
An investigation was launched following the crash, though military personnel insist that there was no hostile activity involved in the accident. President Joe Biden said that he was mourning the loss of the five service members who were lost in the crash.
“Our service members put their lives on the line for our country every day,” Biden said in the statement. “They willingly take risks to keep the American people safe and secure. And their daily bravery and selflessness is an enduring testament to what is best in our nation.”
“Jill and I are praying for the families and friends who have lost a precious loved one—a piece of their soul.”
“Our entire nation shares their grief. And, during this weekend when we pause to honor our nation’s veterans, we once more affirm the sacred obligation we bear to those who volunteer to serve our nation as well as their families, caregivers, and survivors. We pray for the families of all our fallen warriors today and every day.”
Though full information about the crash has not been revealed, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said that the incident involved a helicopter, according to CNN.
“While we continue to gather more information about this deadly crash, it is another stark reminder that the brave men and women who defend our great nation put their lives on the line each and every day to keep our country safe,” Austin’s statement said.
“They represent the best of America. We will remember their service and their sacrifice.”
The identities of the service members have been withheld until at least 24 hours after the families have been informed of the situation.
Fox News Digital noted that it is still unclear which branch of the military the helicopter belonged to, but the U.S. Air Force has sent a number of squadrons to the area. Additionally, the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier has been operating in the eastern Mediterranean.
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