There is disconcerting news of another military accident, this time in Yemen. Late Friday evening a Black Hawk attack helicopter of the U.S. army while on a training flight crashed close to the Southern coast of Yemen, killing one soldier. The helicopter was carrying six soldiers including the crew but the military was able to rescue five of the soldiers. U.S. Central Command has confirmed the news and has said that the accident was under investigation.

The official spokesperson of CENTCOM denied that the loss was due to a special forces raid and brought out that this crash was during a routine Training Exercise to keep the aircraft and crew battle hardy.

In the last accident in Yemen, an Osprey helicopter had to be destroyed, after it made a hard landing during a special a Special Forces raid on a mountain hideout. Three Seals were injured and one commando was killed, NBC News reported.

The Black Hawk chopper

The Black Hawk chopper is a versatile machine and is used for multiple roles from causality evacuation to transporting artillery pieces and other equipment. One of its roles is an attack helicopter and the plane carries rockets, missiles, and rapid fire guns. It is a hardy machine and has been in service with the US military since 1972 and is used by the Air Force, Navy, Army, and Marines. It has also been exported to many countries. In the present incident, it is learned that the chopper was hovering above the water and then lost power about 20 miles from the Yemen Coast.

In all probability, it fell into the sea but timely action saved five lives.


A number of Black Hawk helicopters have been lost during training accidents during the last few weeks. One of the machines sank off the coast of Hawai and five Army soldiers were killed. Their bodies have not yet been retrieved despite a massive search.

Another Black Hawk crashed on a golf course in Maryland, killing one and seriously injuring two. These crashes are cause for worry, as no army or military can sustain such losses during peace time training schedules. It also adversely affects the morale of the rank and file.

Last word

There is a possibility, that the US armed forces are too thinly stretched and the result is a lack of follow up maintenance schedules which are very important to keep a machine air worthy. Yemen is another frontier which the US has entered and in the last few days, more than 80 raids have been mounted on ISIS and their supporters.