The US military has identified two US soldiers killed in a Black Hawk helicopter crash during a training exercise Thursday night in southern California.
Sgt.Vincent Marketta, 33, of The Brick, NJ, and Sgt. Tyler Shelton, 22, of San Bernardino, Calif., Was killed in the crash on San Clemente Island and three other people on board were injured, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
“The loss of Staff Sgt. Marketta and Sgt. Shelton left a scar in this regiment that will never heal completely, ”said Col. Andrew R. Graham, commander of 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne). “Their level of dedication to the 160th SOAR (A) and their exemplary service in the military is the epitome of what it means to be a Night Stalker and a Soldier.
ESPER PAYS TRIBUTE TO 9 SERVICE MEMBERS KILLED IN A TRAINING ACCIDENT
The island, about 78 miles west of Coronado, is administered by Naval Base Coronado, but is part of Los Angeles County.
Marketta enlisted in 2011 and has deployed several times to the Middle East.
Shelton enlisted in 2016 and deployed to Afghanistan.
Marketta’s awards included the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with “V” for bravery and Shelton included the Army Good Conduct Medal and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal.
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Marketta and Shelton will be awarded the Meritorious Service Medal posthumously, according to the Union-Tribune.
This is the second fatal training incident in California this summer.
Last month, eight Marines and one sailor were killed when an amphibious assault vehicle sank near San Clemente Island.