The U.S. military released the names and photos of the five special operators who were killed in an aircraft “mishap” this weekend.
The U.S. says the five men were U.S. Army Special Operations aviation soldiers conducting a routine refueling flight at the time of the crash. The Pentagon identified the deceased as the following:
- Chief Warrant Officer 3 Stephen R. Dwyer, 38, of Clarksville, Tennessee
- Chief Warrant Officer 2 Shane M. Barnes, 34, of Sacramento, California
- Staff Sgt. Tanner W. Grone, 26, of Gorham, New Hampshire
- Sgt. Andrew P. Southard, 27, of Apache Junction, Arizona
- Sgt. Cade M. Wolfe, 24, of Mankato, Minnesota
President Biden mourned the deaths of the five soldiers in a statement on Sunday.
“Jill and I mourn the loss of 5 American service members who died when their aircraft crashed in the Mediterranean Sea during a training mission. We are praying for the families and friends who lost a precious loved one — a piece of their soul. Our entire nation shares their grief,” he wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
“Our service members put their lives on the line for our country every day,” Biden added. “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.”
The U.S. says there was no hostile actor involved in the crash. The U.S. has extensive assets deployed in the eastern Mediterranean in an effort to deter Iran and its terrorist proxy groups from joining Israel’s war against Hamas.
U.S. European Command (EUCOM) said the aircraft “suffered a mishap” and crashed into the sea during a routine air refueling mission. Search and rescue efforts began immediately, including nearby U.S. military aircraft and ships. All five service members on board the aircraft were determined to have died.
An investigation into the crash is still underway.