EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla., 11 March 2015. Search-and-rescue crews are on the scene of a UH-60Black Hawk helicopter accident and recovering debris of the crashed aircraft near range site A-17 at Eglin Air Force Base (AFB), a few miles southwest of Valparaiso in Okaloosa County, Florida. Eleven, including four aircrew and seven Marines, are presumed dead.
Two Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk multi-mission, rotary-wing aircraft assigned to the Army National Guard, Hammond, La., were participating in a training exercise overnight on 10 March 2015.
One helicopter was reported missing at roughly 8:30 p.m. EDT (Eastern Daylight Time) on 10 March 2015. The second helicopter and the personnel on board returned safely and were accounted for on the evening of 10 March.
Four aircrew personnel and seven Marines assigned to Camp LaJeune, N.C, were involved in the accident near Eglin range site A-17, east of the Navarre Bridge. Names of the aircrew and Marines on board are being withheld pending next of kin (NOK) notification.
Both helicopters are assigned to the 1-244th Assault Helicopter Battalion in Hammond, La., and were participating in a routine training mission involving the Marine Special Operations Regiment from Camp LeJeune.
A search-and-rescue (SAR) team located debris from the missing aircraft at roughly 2 a.m. today, 11 March 2015. SAR efforts continue at the accident site. Heavy fog is hindering search and recovery efforts, Eglin officials explain. Multiple agencies are on scene; the Coast Guard has secured waterways.
Anyone along the Santa Rosa Sound who finds wreckage or anything they suspect may be involved with the crash of the Army helicopter are encouraged to call Hurlburt Field Public Affairs at (850) 884-7464, ext. 4.