clear
Tuesday May 5th, 2015 4:19AM

Georgian among those killed in Afghan crash

By The Associated Press
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Five U.S. soldiers based at Fort Riley, Kan., and one based in Europe were killed in a helicopter crash this week in southern Afghanistan, Army officials said Thursday. The victims included a Georgia man.

The Army confirmed the soldiers died when their Black Hawk UH-60 went down Tuesday during a mission. One soldier survived the crash.

The five Fort Riley soldiers were identified as 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.; Sgt. 1st Class Omar W. Forde, 28, of Marietta, Ga.; and Spc. Terry K.D. Gordon, 22, of Shubuta, Miss.

A sixth soldier, based in Vilseck, Germany, was identified as Staff Sgt. Jesse L. Williams, 30, of Elkhart, Ind.

Fort Riley confirmed that a seventh soldier was injured in the crash, although officials there said they could not release a name because of privacy reasons. Military officials said the cause of the crash remained under investigation.

Maj. Gen. Paul Funk II, commanding general of the 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley, offered condolences to the soldiers' families and friends.

"We stand ready to support them and I urge our community and the nation, while remembering their sacrifices this holiday season, to do the same," Funk said in a statement.

The deputy governor of southern Zabul province said Wednesday that a NATO helicopter crashed in the remote district of Shajau and U.S. officials later confirmed that Zabul was the location of the U.S. crash.

"The loss of six U.S. troops in a helicopter crash on Tuesday is a heartbreaking reminder of the sacrifices" the men and women serving in Afghanistan continue to make, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday during a Pentagon press conference that covered a range of issues. "And our thoughts and prayers go out to their families."

The 1st Division Combat Aviation Brigade sent some 2,000 soldiers to Afghanistan in August for a nine-month deployment, replacing the 3rd Infantry Division's Combat Aviation Brigade. According to a brigade news release in September, the soldiers are responsible for providing air support over a mountainous and desert region roughly the size of Montana.
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
S&P 500 index has its best year since 1997
The stock market closed out a record year with more all-time highs on Tuesday, giving U.S. indexes their biggest annual gains in almost two decades.
6:56PM ( 1 year ago )
Colorado readies for 'Green Wednesday' pot sales
Police were adding extra patrols around pot shops in eight Colorado towns that plan to allow recreational sales to anyone over 21 on Jan. 1.
1:52PM ( 1 year ago )
Kerry seeks framework for Mideast peace talks
A senior State Department official says Secretary of State John Kerry will try this week to get Israel and the Palestinians to agree on a framework for negotiating a final peace agreement, yet cautions against raising expectations for Kerry's latest round of shuttle diplomacy.
1:35PM ( 1 year ago )
U.S. News
Ethics laws set to take effect Jan. 1 in Georgia
After dominating much of the legislative session, a set of major ethics reforms is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.
7:04PM ( 1 year ago )
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 1 year ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
Gainesville Schools taps Centennial High's Kirk to take over system-wide AD position
At Monday night's school board work session, Gainesville City School Superintendent Wanda Creel introduced the school system's new Director of Athletics and Student Activities.
3:11AM ( 1 hour ago )
Gainesville man arrested in fatal Jackson Co. hit and run
Georgia State Troopers have the driver of a car involved in a fatal hit and run Monday in Jackson County in custody.
By AccessWDUN staff
6:02PM ( 10 hours ago )
Forsyth County man killed in weekend motorcycle wreck
A Forsyth County man died after a traffic accident on Hickory Hills Road Sunday afternoon.
4:05PM ( 12 hours ago )
NGMC-Braselton begins construction on obstetrics unit
Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) Braselton began construction on a new expansion Monday, allowing the hospital to begin offering obstetric services to the community.
By AccessWDUN staff
3:28PM ( 12 hours ago )
Cleveland police move into new location
Cleveland Police Department is operating from its new office location at 133 W. Kytle St.
1:44PM ( 14 hours ago )