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Names of Alaska Guardsmen Killed in Iraq Released
Governor Orders Flags Lowered for Guardsmen


January 11, 2006
Wednesday AM

Alaska Governor Frank H. Murkowski ordered Alaska State flags to half-staff Tuesday in honor of the four Alaska Army National Guard soldiers who died in Iraq Sunday.

The Department of Defense on Tuesday released the names of the four Alaska National Guard soldiers who died when their UH-60L Blackhawk helicopter crashed in Iraq Sunday.

The Alaskan Guard members among the deceased soldiers, include: First Lieutenant Jaime Lynn Campbell of Fairbanks, Chief Warrant Officer Chester William Troxel of Anchorage, Specialist Michael Ignatius Edwards of Anchorage and Specialist Jacob Eugene Melson of Wasilla.

"This marks the first time since World War II that members of our Alaska National Guard perished in a theater of combat," said Murkowski. "We are deeply saddened by their deaths and express our sincere condolences to their families and friends. At this time of great sadness, we honor their commitment to Alaska, to their country and to freedom and democracy around the world."

Governor Murkowski ordered Alaska State flags to half-staff in their honor earlier Tuesday. The flags will remain at half-staff until the morning of Wednesday, January 18.

The Department of Defense announced Monday that an Alaska Army National Guard UH-60L Blackhawk helicopter had crashed near the Iraqi town of Tal Afar killing all 12 people on board.

The four crewmembers killed were from the 1st Battalion, 207th Aviation Regiment, Alaska Army National Guard. Their names are expected to be released later today.

The aircraft and crew were involved in a two-ship night operation. The cause of the crash is not known at this time. The Army will conduct an investigation in the coming days.

The Alaska National Guard has been working with the families of the unit since they became aware of the incident Sunday morning.

About 60 Guard members from the unit deployed in August 2005 for a one-year tour of duty in Iraq. More than half of the battalion is assigned to combat and combat support roles in Iraq.


Related News:

Alaskans Mourned In Aftermath of Helicopter Crash ; Four Alaska National Guard members among 12 killed in Iraq Incident - The U.S. Department of Defense has announced today that all 12 people aboard an Alaska Army National Guard UH-60L Blackhawk helicopter were killed when it went down near the Iraqi town of Tal Afar. - More....
Monday - January 09, 2006


Source of News:

Office of the Governor


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Ketchikan, Alaska