Five American troops, along with one French and one Czech service member, were killed Nov. 12 when a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from the Multinational Force and Observers crashed in Egypt.
Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) is an international peacekeeping force tasked with overseeing the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. The U.S. Army’s Task Force Sinai Aviation Command flies specially painted UH-60s carrying peacekeepers throughout the Sinai Peninsula. In addition to those killed, one U.S. service member survived and was medically evacuated.
“The MFO will conduct an investigation to determine the cause of the accident,” MFO said in a statement. “At this point, there is no information to indicate the crash was anything except an accident. We greatly appreciate the cooperation and support of Egypt and Israel in the recovery effort.”
“Yesterday we recognized the sacrifice of millions who have defended our nation, and today we are reminded of the last full measure our warriors may pay for their service. I extend the department’s condolences to the families, friends, and teammates of these service members,” Acting Defense Secretary Christopher C. Miller said in a statement.
No additional information, including the specific service of those killed, has been released, pending next of kin notification.
The Army’s Task Force Sinai is a regiment-sized component of MFO, with headquarters staff, an infantry battalion, and a support battalion including the aviation company. This company is “self-sustaining,” with two flight platoons, a maintenance platoon, and a headquarters at South Camp, including fuels, production control, quality control, and technical supply, according to a 2019 Army release. The company’s orange and white helicopters provide about 15 sling loads per week to deliver food, water, and supplies to MFO bases, along with aerial observation, casualty evacuation, and VIP escort.
The MFO, which dates back to 1979, includes 1,154 personnel from 13 countries.
Editor’s note: This story was updated at 3:41 p.m. Nov. 12 to reflect an updated number of casualties provided by MFO in a statement.