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CENTCOMNEWS RELEASE
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND
7115 South Boundary Boulevard
MacDill AFB, Fla. 33621-5101
Phone: (813) 827-5894; FAX: (813) 827-2211; DSN 651-5894

June 29, 2005
Release Number: 05-06-21


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


UPDATE: U.S. HELICOPTER CRASHES NEAR ASADABAD

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Seventeen service members were on board the CH-47 helicopter that crashed in mountainous terrain west of Asadabad on June 28. Initial reports indicate the crash may have been caused by hostile fire. The status of the service members is unknown at this time.

Coalition and Afghan National Army forces quickly moved into position around the crash to block any enemy movement toward or away from the site. Coalition aircraft remain overhead.

The helicopter was transporting forces into the area as part of Operation Red Wing, which is part of the enduring fight to defeat al-Qaida militants and deny them influence in Kunar province. Operation Red Wing continues in Kunar.

Recent enemy activity in the area has been described as a series of harassing attacks and intelligence-gathering activities against Afghan and U.S. forces.

“This is a tragic event for all of us, and our hearts and prayers go out to the families, loved ones and service members still fighting in the area,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Greg Champion, deputy commanding general of Combined Joint Task Force-76. “Our courage and commitment to America ’s fight in the Global War on Terror will not waver. This incident will only further our resolve to defeat the enemies of peace.”

More information will be provided as it becomes available.


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