It has been confirmed that five of the six soldiers who died Monday in Afghanistan in a helicopter crash were from Fort Riley.
According to the Department of Defense, killed were:
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Randy L. Billings, 34, of Heavener, Okla.,
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joshua B. Silverman, 35, of Scottsdale, Ariz.,
Sgt. Peter C. Bohler, 29, of Willow Spring, N.C.
They were assigned to the 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley.
Sgt. 1st Class Omar W. Forde, 28, of Marietta, Ga., assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley.
Spc. Terry K. D. Gordon, 22, of Shubuta, Miss., assigned to 1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley.
Staff Sgt. Jesse L. Williams, 30, of Elkhart, Ind., assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, Regimental Support Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, Vilseck, Germany, was also killed.
U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) issued the following statement upon learning that six soldiers were killed in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan on Monday, five of those soldiers were based at Ft. Riley:
“Americans will be forever indebted to these brave soldiers who laid down their lives for our country,” Sen. Moran said. “As we pay tribute to their service and sacrifice, we are reminded that freedom is not free. I ask all Kansans to join me in remembering their families, friends and the Ft. Riley community in our thoughts and prayers.”
Initial reports indicate that the Black Hawk UH-60 experienced a mechanical issue and came under fire after it crashed. It is unknown if any of the deaths were caused by enemy fire.
—This story was written and compiled by Beau Tiongson. Additional sources hyperlinked in text