Joint Forces Shows Efforts on Searching Missing Helicopter in Kenya

Saturday, February 18 2006 @ 11:48 am UTC

In Nairobi, Kenya, the military said that the "10 U.S. troops missing after two Marine Corps transport helicopters crashed into the sea have been accounted for" on Saturday. Although the reports isnít specify whether they have survive the crash. On Friday, the CH-53E choppers, carrying a dozen crew and troops, went down in the Gulf of Aden, near the northern coastal town of Ras Siyyan, reports said.

But there was no indication of hostile fire and an investigation was under way, said Maj. Susan Romano of the U.S.-led Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa, therefore the cause of the crash was unclear.

Romano said "the Djibouti military rescued two crew members, who were to be transported Saturday to the U.S. military's Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany," after rescuers searched the waters off Djibouti's coast, The 10 other crew members were accounted for.

according to a statement from the joint task force headquarters at Camp Lemonier, a French military base in Djibouti, "Crew members have been accounted for from the crash of two CH-53E helicopters off the coast of Djibouti Friday,"

According to the task force statement, no further information about the crew's condition would be released because "next-of-kin notifications are still ongoing." Search and rescue efforts at the crash site have been curtailed, but crews were still hunting for relevant information, equipment and wreckage as an investigation into the cause of the crash was under way.

Romano said, "The search-and-rescue mission by troops from the United States, Djibouti and France also located a large portion of a CH-53E helicopter."

The task force statement said, while a Djibouti-based French Puma helicopter and two U.S. SH-60B helicopters from the USS Vicksburg provided aerial support, several ships in the region, including U.S., French and Italian vessels.

A statement said. Visibility had been good at the time, with light winds, "The helicopters were flying a two-hour training mission in the Godoria Range area in northern Djibouti."

By: Kane Langford

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