U.S. Army officials on Saturday identified the five American service members who were killed when a peacekeeping Back Hawk helicopter crashed in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula.
They were identified as Capt. Seth Vernon Vandekamp, 31, of Katy, Texas; Chief Warrant Officer 3 Dallas Gearld Garza, 34, of Fayetteville, North Carolina; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Marwan Sameh Ghabour, 27, of Marlborough, Massachusetts; Staff Sgt. Kyle Robert McKee, 35, of Painesville, Ohio; and Sgt. Jeremy Cain Sherman, 23, of Watseka, Illinois.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said in a statement Saturday that an additional service member remained in critical condition following Thursday’s crash. A spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces said the injured American was taken by helicopter to an Israeli hospital for treatment.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement Friday that one French and one Czech soldier also died. The Czech Defence Ministry confirmed that one of its service members died and blamed the crash on a technical issue.
The helicopter was on a routine mission in the vicinity of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, when it went down, said the Multinational Force and Observers, an independent international peacekeeping body that monitors the 40-year-old peace agreement between Israel and Egypt.
The MFO is comprised of 1,154 military personnel from the U.S. and 12 other countries, according to its website. President Donald Trump’s administration has been reassessing U.S. participation in the force.
Abigail Williams contributed.