The Tennessee National Guard has identified two soldiers who perished in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crash Wednesday afternoon near Huntsville, Alabama.
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Daniel Wadham from Joelton, Tennessee, and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Danny Randolph of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, were killed when their helicopter crashed during a training flight near Highway 53 and Burwell Road in Huntsville, the Tennessee National Guard announced in a press release.
Wadham had 15 years of service with the Army, while Randolph had 13. Both were assigned to A Company, 1-230th Assault Helicopter Battalion, from Nashville's Berry Field Air National Guard Base.
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"Words cannot express my sorrow for the loss of these two Tennessee National Guardsmen," Brig. Gen. Warner Ross, Tennessee's adjutant general, said in the release. "It is felt not only within the ranks of the Tennessee National Guard, but across our entire military community," he added.
The helicopter was approaching the Huntsville Executive Airport when "the aircraft rapidly descended and impacted the ground," the agency said in its statement.
The state Guard Bureau said that the Madison County Sheriff's Department responded to the crash site and reported that the two crew members had been killed. No bystanders were injured in the incident.
Local meteorologist James Spann shared a video on social media Wednesday that appeared to show the crash with thick, black smoke billowing from the highway median.
"Federal and state authorities are investigating the accident, and the Tennessee National Guard will provide more information as details become available," the press release said.
According to Lockheed Martin, the owner of the company that makes the Black Hawks, the Army has more than 2,000 of the helicopters in its fleet, which it has operated since the late 1970s. In December 2022, the service announced that Bell had won the competition to replace the aging fleet with its tilt-rotor V-280 Valor aircraft, although that replacement is still in development with no clear timeline for the new aircraft to be fielded.
-- Konstantin Toropin can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @ktoropin.
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