Photo courtesy of Academy Photo
While trying to rescue an elite
U.S. military team that still remains missing in the mountains
of Kunar province, MAJ Reich of Washington Depot, Conn. was one
of 16 troops killed when their MH-47 Chinook helicopter was shot
down. The soldiers were assigned to the 160th Special Operations
Aviation Regiment (Airborne) from Georgia.
Friends wishing to make
contributions in lieu of flowers can make donations
to Habitat for Humanity and to the Night Stalkers Association,
a group that
supports the families of soldiers serving in the 160th Special
Aviation Regiment (Airborne). For more information, please visit
RELEASE NUMBER: 050630-01
DATE POSTED: JULY 1, 2005
PRESS RELEASE: Helicopter crash
kills three officers, five special operations Soldiers
U.S. Army Special Operations
Command Public Affairs Office
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News
Service, July 1, 2005) An MH-47D Chinook helicopter crashed
June 28, 2005 near Asadabad, Afghanistan, killing three special
operations officers and five special operations Soldiers from
the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) while
conducting combat operations in support of Operation Red Wing.
Maj. Stephen C. Reich, 34, of
Washington Depot, Conn., Chief Warrant Officer Chris J. Scherkenbach,
40, of Jacksonville, Fla., Warrant Officer Corey J. Goodnature
,35, of Clarks Grove, Minn., Sgt. 1st Class Marcus V. Muralles,
33, of Shelbyville, Ind., Sgt. 1st Class Michael L. Russell,
31, of Stafford, Va., Staff Sgt. Shamus O. Goare, 29, of Ohio
and Sgt. Kip A. Jacoby, 21, of Pompano Beach, Fla., were killed
when the helicopter was struck by an enemy rocket propelled grenade
in the countrys Kunar province. All were assigned to the
3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne)
based at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.
Sgt. 1st Class James W. Ponder,
III, 36, of Franklin, Tenn., was killed as a result of the crash.
He was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 160th
SOAR(A) based at Fort Campbell, Ky.
The officers and Soldiers were
deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Afghan National Army and Coalition
forces remain actively engaged in Operation Red Wing, an effort
to defeat terrorists operating in Kunar province. The operation
is part of a larger spring campaign by U.S. and Afghan forces
to kill and capture fighters from hideouts in the east and south
The MH-47 conducts overt and
covert infiltrations, exfiltrations, air assault, resupply, and
sling operations over a wide range of environmental conditions.
With the use of special mission equipment and night vision devices,
the air crew can operate in hostile mission environments over
all types of terrain at low altitudes, and during periods of
U.S. ARMY SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND
PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE, FORT BRAGG, NC 28310 910-432-6005
MAJOR STEPHEN C. REICH
Killed in action on June 28, 2005
Operation Enduring Freedom
Maj. Stephen C. Reich died June
28, 2005, in eastern Afghanistan when his MH-47D Helicopter was
shot down by enemy fire during combat operations.
He was born May 22, 1971 in Ohio,
and was raised in Washington, Conn.
He graduated from the United
States Military Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree and
received his commission in 1993. In 1994, he attended the Aviation
Officer Basic Course and Initial Entry Rotary Wing training.
In 1995 he was assigned to the University of Kentucky ROTC program,
and played professional baseball in the Baltimore Orioles organization.
After receiving a UH-60 Blackhawk
transition in 1996, he was ordered to Germany where he served
as Platoon Leader in Company A, 5th Battalion, 158th Aviation
Regiment. During his subsequent tour with the 12th Aviation Brigade
he served in Operation ALLIED FORCE deploying to Hungary, Bosnia,
Albania, and Kosovo.
Returning from Germany in 2000,
Reich attended the Infantry Captains Career Course at Ft.
Benning, Ga. followed by the Combined Arms Services Staff School
at Ft. Leavenworth, Kan. Upon arrival to the 160th Special Operations
Aviation Regiment, he deployed with 2nd Battalion to Operation
ENDURING FREEDOM as Battle Captain in support of Task Force Dagger.
In December 2001, he served as Operations Officer for 2nd Battalions
detachment of MH-47D aircraft in Afghanistan. He commanded Headquarters
and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion from February 2002 through
Reich recently completed a one
year assignment to Daegu, Republic of Korea as the Operations
Officer for E
Company, 160th SOAR(A). Reichs military schools include:
Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape C Course, the Airborne
School, and Air Assault Course. His awards and decorations include
the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation
Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Joint Meritorious Unit
Award, and the Senior Aviator, Airborne, and Air Assault Badges.
He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, the Meritorious
Service Medal, the Bronze Star Medal and an Air Medal with Valor
device and the Combat Action Badge.
Reich is survived by his wife,
Jill, of Panama City, Fla.
COMPANY COMMAND TRIBUTES