Two soldiers were killed and three others injured after a Black Hawk helicopter crashed during a “routine training” on San Clemente Island late Thursday.
The soldiers, Staff Sgt. Vincent P. Marketta from Brick, New Jersey, and Sgt. Tyler M. Shelton from San Bernardino, California, were members of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne).
The identities of the three soldiers who were injured were not disclosed to the public.
According to the statement released by the Army, they were conducting a “routine training” when the accident occurred.
“An element of U.S. Army Special Operations Command was conducting routine training in the vicinity of Coronado, California, on August 27, when an aircraft incident occurred,” the Army said.
“Two Soldiers were killed and three were injured. The area has been secured and an investigation into the incident is underway.”
“At this time we are not releasing anything beyond the statement provided,” said Army spokesperson J. Elise Van Pool.
“We are still in the process of making next of kin notifications and will not release any additional information until that process is complete.”
An official of the Defense Department, who requests of remain anonymous, said that the crash occurred on San Clemente Island, which is about 70 miles west of San Diego and controlled by the U.S. Navy.
The island, which falls under the command of Naval Base Coronado, has an airfield, a bombing range and a training facility used by special operations units.
The commander of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) Col. Andrew R. Graham said, “The loss of Staff Sgt. Marketta and Sgt. Shelton has left a scar in this Regiment that will never completely heal.”
“Their level of dedication to the 160th SOAR (A) and their exemplary service in the Army is the embodiment of what it means to be a Night Stalker and a Soldier.”