Three soldiers died and another was injured when two AH-64 Apache helicopters based at Fort Wainwright collided in flight Thursday near Healy, about 10 miles north of the entrance to Denali National Park, according to the 11th Airborne Division. The two aircraft were returning from a training mission.
“This is an incredible loss for these soldiers’ families, their fellow soldiers, and for the division,” said Maj. Gen. Brian Eifler, commanding general of the 11th Airborne Division. “Our hearts and prayers go out to their families, friends and loved ones, and we are making the full resources of the Army available to support them. The Fort Wainwright community is one of the tightest military communities I’ve seen in my 32 years of service. I have no doubt they will pull together during this exceptional time of need and provide comfort to our families of our fallen.”
Two of the soldiers died at the scene and the third died en route to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. The fourth is being treated for injuries at the hospital. Each helicopter had two individuals on board. Names of the deceased soldiers are being held until their families are notified.
The Apaches were from the 1st Attack Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment.
In March, two Black Hawk helicopters collided during a training mission along the Kentucky-Tennessee border, killing nine. In February, an Apache helicopter rolled and crashed after takeoff from Talkeetna, killing two.
Photo: AH-64 Apache near Fort Wainwright in 2021, by Eve Baker, Fort Wainwright Public Affairs