One crewman was killed and two were missing as an HH-60H Seahawk crashed about 11:15 a.m. in the northern Persion Gulf near Kuwait as it was returning to the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise after a training exercise. Navy spokesman Lt. Rick Haupt said the helicopter was about 10 miles from the carrier at the time of the crash. Nine others on board were rescued.
There was no evidence the helicopter was shot down or was the target of other hostile action, Navy spokesmen said in Washington.
The names of the 12 crew members aboard the helicopter were withheld pending notification of relatives.
The helicopter was part of Carrier Air Wing 17, which arrived in the gulf with the Enterprise to take part in Operation Southern Watch.
The operation is designed to enforce a no-fly zone over southern Iraq that was set up by the United States and its allies to protect the area’s Muslim Shiite inhabitants from reprisals by Saddam Hussein’s army, which ruthlessly put down a revolt in the area after the 1991 Gulf War.