Two soldiers were killed early Saturday morning when their AH-64 Apache helicopter went down during pre-deployment training operations at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California.
The helicopter reportedly crashed at around 1:00 A.M. local time, though no further details into what may have caused the incident have been released. The pilot and co-pilot both hailed from the 4th Infantry Division in Colorado, though they have not yet been identified pending next of kin notifications.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the death of two 4th Infantry Division soldiers at the National Training Center today,” said Maj. Gen. Randy A. George, commanding general of the 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson.
“Our heartfelt prayers and condolences go out to their families and friends during this difficult and painful time. The loss of any soldier truly saddens everyone here at the Mountain Post and it is a tremendous loss to the team,” George said.
The Army went on to say that the cause of the crash is currently under investigation.
It is likely that the family members of the fallen soldiers may see a delay in receiving the $100,000 death gratuity payment allotted to the families of fallen service members to ensure financial stability and aid in the travel, planning, and logistics associated with the soldier’s funerals. Although the shutdown went on for only a few days, it will take time for the system to process their claim and disburse payment.