WASHINGTON, Aug. 11, 2006 – The bodies of two soldiers missing after an Aug. 8 helicopter crash in Iraq's Anbar province have been recovered, U.S. officials announced today. Both soldiers died as a result of the accident. "Our thoughts are with the families of the soldiers," Marine spokesman Maj. Riccoh Player said.
The U.S. Army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter from the 82nd Aviation Ambulance Company, in direct support of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, went down with six servicemembers on board during an area familiarization flight.
The remaining four servicemembers, two Army and two Navy, are in stable condition. Aircraft recovery efforts are ongoing. Officials said the incident does not appear to be a result of enemy action, and the incident is under investigation.
In other news from Iraq, U.S. patrols found three weapons caches earlier this week. A patrol from Company A, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, found a weapons cache west of Baghdad at about 10:30 a.m. Aug. 9. The patrol seized six AK-47 assault rifles, 1,500 PKC machine gun rounds, three cases of 7.62 mm rounds, 300 loose 7.62 mm rounds, six AK-47 magazine guns, a hand grenade, and a sniper scope.
Elsewhere, Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers discovered two large weapons caches during a cordon operation south of Baghdad Aug. 8 night. Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, discovered the first cache during the search of a building and the second cache in a grove adjacent to the building.
The caches consisted of two RPK machine guns, three PKM machine guns, a spare PKM machine gun barrel, 19 packages of PKM ammunition, five drums of PKM ammunition, seven AK-47 rifles, 45 AK-47 magazines, eight AK-47 ammunition vests, a 60 mm mortar system, seven 60 mm mortars, 18 grenades, six grenade fuses, a rocket-propelled-grenade launcher, a long-range rifle, 18 RPG rounds, 18 RPG boosters, 250 7.62 mm rounds, 19 sticks of explosives, and a shotgun. An explosive ordnance disposal team destroyed the explosives