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The United States Army has named the five Americans who were killed in a helicopter crash on Nov. 12, 2020. The Americans were part of a peacekeeping unit serving in Egypt. They were among the seven members killed in the southern region of the Sinai Peninsula.
5 Americans Identified by the Army
The U.S. Army named the five victims as:
- Captain Seth Vernon Vandekamp — age 31 and from Katy, Texas;
- Chief Warrant Officer 3 Dallas Gearld Garza — age 34 and from Fayetteville, North Carolina;
- Chief Warrant Officer 2 Marwan Sameh Ghabour — age 27 and from Marlborough, Massachusetts;
- Staff Sergeant Kyle Robert McKee — age 35 and from Painesville, Ohio;
- Sergeant Jeremy Cain Sherman — age 23 and from Watseka, Illinois.
The crash happened in the morning hours of Thursday near Sharm el-Sheikh. According to the Czech Defense Ministry, the incident was “caused by technical issues.” The Black Hawk helicopter was on a mission to resupply the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO).
Czech authorities have identified one of the other victims as Sergeant Michaela Ticha. She is the first female Czech soldier killed in a foreign mission since the Velvet Revolution in 1989. The other victim was a French national. According to the Israel Defense Forces, one American survived the crash and was taken to the Israeli hospital for medical treatment.
Army Helps Oversee Peace Agreements
As part of the Camp David Accords of 1978, the MFO oversees the peace agreement reached between Israel and Egypt. The MFO is composed of 1,150 personnel from 13 countries. There are roughly 450 Americans included in their unit.
Local ISIS affiliates have led a campaign of violence against civilians in the area in recent years. This has severely deteriorated security in the area. This is something that the army has been trying to eradicate.
After a series of militant attacks in 2016, the U.S. has moved a large number of their forces into safe zones further south of the area. They also increased their use of remote technology, like cameras, to carry out missions.
It has not been reported whether or not the helicopter crashed on land or in the sea. This incident is under investigation. The army will release more information as it is learned.
Written by Sheena Robertson
CNN: Army identifies 5 Americans killed in helicopter crash involving peacekeeping force in Egypt; Veronica Stracqualursi
CBS: Army identifies five American soldiers killed in Egypt helicopter crash; AUDREY MCNAMARA
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