The names of five U.S. servicemembers who died over the weekend have been revealed.
U.S. European Command announced on Sunday that a military aircraft had crashed in the eastern Mediterranean Sea on November 10 during a training exercise. The helicopter had been conducting a “routine air refueling mission as part of military training” when the crash occurred, which killed all five U.S. Army Special Operations aviation servicemen on board, according to a news release.
There was no suspicion of contact with hostile groups at the time of the crash, and search and rescue efforts began immediately after the crash. Officials decided to keep the names of the men onboard confidential until the next of kin for each of the victims had been notified.
U.S. Army Special Operations Command revealed the names of the servicemen Monday. The fallen soldiers were Chief Warrant Officer 3 Stephen R. Dwyer, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Shane M. Barnes, Staff Sgt. Tanner W. Grone, Sgt. Andrew P. Southard, and Sgt. Cade M. Wolfe.
“We mourn the loss of these five incredible soldiers, each of them a national treasure. They hail from rare patriotic families with deep military service ties that span multiple generations and formations,” said Lt. Gen. Jonathan P. Braga, commander of the Army Special Operations Command, per the announcement.
“This is devastating news that reverberates across the entire special operations community. Every loss is tough, but in this case, service to the Nation is truly a family business, and it’s hard to express the amount of sorrow that we all feel right now,” Braga said.
Steve and Erica Grone, the parents of Sgt. Grone, said in a Facebook post that they were “beyond proud” of their son and his achievements.
“Thank you for all these amazing years. Please watch over us. Love you and can’t express how much you will be missed,” stated Grone’s parents in the post.