BOISE — The Idaho National Guard has released the names of three soldiers killed Tuesday night when a Black Hawk helicopter crashed during a training flight.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Jesse Anderson, 43; Chief Warrant Officer 3 George “Geoff” Laubhan, 39; and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Matthew Peltzer, 43, were the only people aboard when the helicopter crashed near Lucky Peak outside Boise.
All three men were married with children and had served in the Idaho Army National Guard for years. Anderson, of Boise, was a senior instructor pilot and had served since 2008. He is survived by his wife and four kids.
Laubhan, also a Boise resident, was an instructor pilot. He had served in the Guard since 2010 and is survived by his wife and two children.
Peltzer, of Nampa, is survived by his wife and two children. He was a pilot and had served with the Guard since 2005.
The men were returning from their training flight when the helicopter was contacted at 7:45 p.m. The UH-60 Black Hawk’s emergency locator was activated about 15 minutes later. Search and rescue crews found the wreckage early Wednesday.
The cause of the crash is under investigation. The area had rain, snow and fog Tuesday night. Another Idaho National Guard aircraft in the region reported that visibility was low as the cloud cover dropped close to the ground.
“The sudden and tragic loss of three of our fellow Guardsmen is extremely heartbreaking to every member of our Idaho National Guard family,” said Maj. Gen. Michael Garshak, adjutant general of Idaho and commander of the Idaho National Guard. “It is very comforting, at such a challenging time, to have the care and support of so many.”
Idaho Gov. Brad Little ordered that flags be flown at half-staff in honor of the three men until the day after the final memorial service is held.
“Their tragic deaths leave an emptiness in the lives of their families and loved ones, the entire National Guard community, and all of us,” Little said in a prepared statement on Wednesday. “As Idahoans, let’s quiet ourselves and reflect on their courage and sacrifice.”
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