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Army helicopter catches fire at North Island, no injuries

The unit, based in Kentucky, was in Coronado to train

A fire aboard a U.S. Army helicopter at Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado was extinguished by base firefighters Wednesday, the Army said in a statement.

No soldiers were injured in the blaze.

The helicopter is attached to the Kentucky-based 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) and was conducting training in San Diego, according to Maj. Chris Lancia, an Army spokesperson.

Lancia declined to specify the type of helicopter that caught fire to protect the investigation. He said the blaze began when the helicopter was on the ground and going through its shut-down procedures.

The 160th SOAR flies MH-47 Chinooks, MH-60 Black Hawks and MH-6 Little Birds — all modified for special operations.

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This is the second San Diego-area incident involving Army special operation helicopters in two years.

In August 2020 two soldiers were killed and three injured when an MH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed on San Clemente Island. That helicopter was also part of the 160th SOAR.

Lancia said that although Army training activity around San Diego is limited, the 160th SOAR trains in the area to take advantage of the terrain and environment.

“Being by water provides scenarios we don’t often get,” Lancia said.


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