RAINIER, Wash. — Four airmen, one from Alaska, were killed when two helicopters crashed at a Washington state base, the Army said Wednesday as investigators tried to determine the cause of the collision.
Army officials said the airmen were on a routine night training flight in two reconnaissance choppers when they crashed after 8 p.m. Monday in the southwest training area of the sprawling Joint Base Lewis-McChord, killing all four on board. An investigation into the cause of the accident by a team from Fort Rucker, Ala., began Wednesday.
Killed were Capt. Anne M. Montgomery, 25, of North Dakota; Chief Warrant Officer 3 Frank A. Buoniconti, 36, from Colorado; Chief Warrant Officer 3 Joseph S. Satterfield, 32, from Alaska and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Lucas Daniel Sigfrid, 32, of Alabama.
Satterfield served on active duty since September 1997 and has been at the Washington base since December 2009. He had assignments in Korea and at Fort Campbell, Ky., and deployed once to Iraq and once to Afghanistan. Satterfield had deployed twice — once to Iraq and once to Afghanistan. His awards include the Air Medal (two awards), Army Commendation Medal (two awards), and the Aviator Badge.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord is one of the largest bases in the country, with about 100,000 military and civilian personnel. In December 2006, a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from Fort Lewis crashed southeast of Seattle during a night training mission, killing all three aboard.