The Army has identified the two soldiers who died Friday when their AH-64 Apache helicopter crashed at the local training area at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
Both soldiers were assigned to the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division.
They are Chief Warrant Officer 3 Ryan Connolly and Warrant Officer James Casadona.
Connolly, 37, was an instructor pilot in the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade. He joined the Army in 2001 and arrived at Fort Campbell in 2016.
Connolly’s awards and decorations include two Air Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, the Army Achievement Medal, the Meritorious Unit Commendation, the Army Superior Unit Award, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and the Iraq Campaign Medal.
Casadona, 28, was a pilot in the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade.
He served in the Marine Corps as a communication signals collection operator/analyst from February 2012 to August 2016, earning the rank of sergeant, according to information from the Corps.
Casadona joined the Army in October 2016 and arrived at Fort Campbell in 2018. according to the 101st Airborne Division.
His awards and decorations include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, and an Army Service Ribbon.
“The Destiny Brigade has suffered a great tragedy and our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the deceased,” said Col. Craig Alia, commander of the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, in a statement. “This is an unfortunate event, and we are saddened by the loss of our fellow Soldiers. We ask that everyone respect the privacy of the families as they grieve the loss of their loved ones.”
The crew was conducting routine training at the time of the accident, according to the 101st Airborne. There were no other casualties.
The cause of the accident is under investigation.
The crash occurred at the end of a deadly week for military aviation.
On April 3, a Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crashed during a training flight in California, killing the four crew members on board.
The next day, on April 4, an F-16 from the Air Force’s Thunderbirds crashed near Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, killing the pilot.
Stephen Weigand is digital content editor at Sightline Media Group.
Michelle Tan is the editor of Army Times and Air Force Times. She has covered the military for Military Times since 2005, and has embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Haiti, Gabon and the Horn of Africa.