All 16 U.S. Troops Killed in Afghan Helicopter Crash

The Pentagon has confirmed that all service members aboard the Chinook that went down in Afghanistan yesterday have been killed.

All 16 U.S. Troops Killed in Afghan Crash (AP)

The U.S. military confirmed Thursday that all 16 servicemembers aboard a special forces helicopter died when it crashed into a mountain ravine earlier this week, apparently after being shot down. The remains of those killed were being recovered at the site in eastern Afghanistan where the MH-47 chopper went down Tuesday. The helicopter crashed while ferrying reinforcements to a battle against the insurgents, the military said in a statement.The military reported earlier that 17 people were on board but revised that figure to 16 later Thursday.

“At this point, we have recovered all 16 bodies of those service men who were onboard the MH-47 helicopter that crashed on Tuesday,” Lt. Gen. James Conway, director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday.

Helicopter flight is dangerous even in training; adding hostile fire to the mix makes it especially perilous.

There’s small comfort in the fact that the bodies have been recovered so the families can at least have quick closure. Still, quite tragic.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. ALS says:

    My heart goes out to those families that are getting the ever-dreaded knocks on their doors. I will be praying for them, especially on this 4th of July weekend.