Naval Special Warfare Sailor Dies After Helicopter Landing Incident

chinook naval special warfare

An MH-47 Chinook heavy assault helicopter, assigned to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, lowers a hoist cable to a combatant craft, assigned to a West Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit, during a maritime training evolution Nov. 2, 2021. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Paolo Bayas.

A Naval Special Warfare sailor died Monday, May 9, from injuries sustained several days earlier during training at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia.

The sailor, whose name is being withheld from the public for 24 hours after notification of next of kin, was injured May 5 in a helicopter landing incident that remains under investigation, according to a Navy press release, which described the event as the “tragic loss of a teammate.”

naval special warfare sailor

A Naval Special Warfare sailor died May 9, 2022, from injuries sustained several days earlier during training at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia. The sailor, who has not yet been identified, is the fourth Navy service member to die during training in recent months. From left: Cmdr. Brian Bourgeois of SEAL Team 8 died in December 2021. Kyle Mullen died just after completing the so-called “Hell Week” in Navy SEAL selection training in February 2022. Lt. j.g. Aaron Fowler died during explosive ordnance training in April. Composite by Coffee or Die Magazine.

A Naval Special Warfare sailor died May 9, 2022, from injuries sustained several days earlier during training at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia. The sailor has not yet been identified, but is the fourth Navy service member to die during training in recent months. From left: Cmdr. Brian Bourgeois of SEAL Team 8 died in December 2021. Kyle Mullen died just after completing the so-called “Hell Week” in Navy SEAL selection training in February 2022. Lt. j.g. Aaron Fowler died during explosive ordnance training in April. Composite by Coffee or Die Magazine.

Other Navy teammates have died during training in the past few months. Cmdr. Brian Bourgeois, the commanding officer of SEAL Team 8, died in a fast-roping exercise in December 2021. Bourgeois was honored by the US Naval Academy, where he played football for three years, at the annual Army-Navy football game.

In February, sailor Kyle Mullen died in the immediate aftermath of “Hell Week,” the five-day training event required of sailors hoping to become Navy SEALs. The cause of his death has yet to be reported.

Lt. j.g. Aaron Fowler died during an explosive ordnance training evolution alongside Marines in Hawaii last month. He became unresponsive in the course of the training, but further details have not been released.

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Maggie BenZvi is a contributing editor for Coffee or Die. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Chicago, a master’s degree in human rights from Columbia University, and has worked for the ACLU as well as the International Rescue Commitee. She has also completed a summer journalism program at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. In addition to her work at Coffee or Die, she’s a stay at home mom and, notably, does not drink coffee. Got a tip? Get in touch!
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