On November 11, a US Special Forces MH-60M helicopter crashed southeast of Cyprus. He was then carrying out an in-flight refueling training maneuver. Five American soldiers died, despite the deployment of three maritime patrol planes and a destroyer. This helicopter is a modified version for the needs of the American Special Forces.
Crashes in the Eastern Mediterranean
This November 13, the Department of Defense (DoD) announced in a Press release the loss of a Special Forces MH-60M Black Hawk helicopter from the famous 160th SOAR Regiment. The Black Hawk flew over the waters of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea on November 11 while conducting aerial refueling training. For an as yet unexplained reason, the helicopter suffered an incident, resulting in the loss of the aircraft. Five American soldiers on board died. The DoD insists on the nature of the crash: it is in no way an attack on the helicopter.
Three P-8s in the area and a destroyer
Following this crash, the US Navy deployed a major device search-and-rescue (SAR) including three P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. At least two devices were also visible on the different sites of flight tracking. The first arrived in the area around 5:30 a.m. (Paris time) circling at low altitude to the south-east of Cyprus. The second arrived early in the afternoon, in the same search area as the first device (images below).
At sea, the guided-missile destroyer Pay Ignatius (DDG-117, Arleigh Burke IIA class) also visited the area. Note that the latter is not part of the squadron of the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford. The DoD has not yet specified what means will be deployed to recover the wreckage of the helicopter.
No reason for its deployment was given by the DoD. However, since the attack on Israel on October 7, the American Armed Forces have deployed significant resources in the Middle East: anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems thanks to a transcontinental airliftan aircraft carrier, 2,400 Marines trained in special operations support,… as well as numerous Special Forces operators, supported by helicopters from the 160th SOAR. They must make it possible to carry out evacuations of nationals, to carry out raids in the region… or if the opportunity allows, the evacuation of hostages in the Gaza Strip!