Black Hawk Helicopter Crashes Off Yemen Coast, Hunt on for missing personnel

US Black Hawk helicopter

A U.S. Black Hawk helicopter crashed off the coast of Yemen on Friday during a training mission and a search was under way for one U.S. service member, the U.S. military said.

The U.S. troops are limited to advisory and intelligence work, but they could be drawn into conflict in self-defense, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said earlier this month. Washington Post quoted U.S. Central Command statement.

Five U.S. service members onboard the aircraft were rescued after the crash and one remains missing.

The reported cited the US army source as saying that this was a routine training event. Five of the six US troops on board were rescued, and the search for the sixth person is ongoing.

USA special operations forces have also conducted ground raids this year, including a controversial operation in late January, one of the first authorized by President Donald Trump, in which Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer William Owens was killed and an MV-22 Osprey was destroyed.

The U.S. military maintains a small special operations base near Yemen's port of Mukalla to facilitate an ongoing campaign targeting al-Qaida loyalists there. USA forces have launched more than 80 airstrikes in the region since late February.

There have been a number of aviation mishaps involving U.S military aircraft in the past few months. "Commanders deemed this location appropriate and safe for a routine training event", Centcom said, "considering both the operational environment and weather conditions at the time". The Marine Corps announced Friday it had recovered the bodies of three Marines killed in that crash.

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