Army identifies Americans killed in Egypt helicopter crash, chief warrant officer from NC among the 5 who died

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This is not an image of the helicopter that crashed. // A U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, assigned to 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, during a mission in eastern Afghanistan Oct. 23, 2016. (Photo by Capt. Grace Geiger)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Army on Saturday identified the five American soldiers killed in a helicopter crash this week while on a peacekeeping mission in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

The soldiers were part of an international force that monitors the four-decade-old Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement. The Multinational Force and Observers said the soldiers were on a routine mission when the Black Hawk helicopter crashed Thursday near Sharm el-Sheikh, a popular Egyptian resort on the Red Sea.

A French peacekeeper and Czech officer also were killed, and a sixth American on the helicopter was injured.

The Army said the cause of the crash is still under investigation. On the day of the crash, the MFO said at that point there were no signs of an attack and it appeared to have been an accident.

The Army identified the dead as Capt. Seth Vernon Vandekamp, 31, from Katy, Texas; Chief Warrant Officer 3 Dallas Gearld Garza, 34, from Fayetteville, North Carolina; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Marwan Sameh Ghabour, 27, from Marlborough, Massachusetts; Staff Sgt. Kyle Robert McKee, 35, from Painesville, Ohio; and Sgt. Jeremy Cain Sherman, 23, from Watseka, Illinois.

Thirteen countries contribute troops to the peacekeeping force, with the United States making up the largest contingent. The responsibilities include monitoring troop levels along the border and ensuring the freedom of navigation through the Strait of Tiran.

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