FORT BENNING — The Army has identified two special operations pilots from Fort Campbell, Ky., killed when their helicopter crashed during a training exercise in Georgia.
An Army news release Wednesday said the soldiers killed were Capt. John D. Hortman, 30, of Inman, S.C., and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Steven B. Redd, 37, of Lancaster, Calif. Both served in the 1st Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky.
The Army says Hortman and Redd died Monday when their AH-6M Little Bird, a light attack helicopter, crashed on a live-fire range at Fort Benning in west Georgia. They were part of a routine exercise with Army Rangers and other special operations troops.
The 160th is a unit of the Army's elite fliers who are trained to pilot helicopters in treacherous conditions. The military said the crash happened on a live-fire range at Fort Benning in Columbus, where Army Rangers and other special operations troops are training this week.
Hortman served as a Special Operations Light Attack Helicopter Platoon Leader and Redd was a fully mission qualified AH-6M aviator and armament platoon leader.
During his career, Redd had 12 deployments, 10 in Iraq and two in Afghanistan. Redd's family said in a statement provided by the military that the pilot served for more than 19 years in the military and 10 years supporting Special Operations forces.
"There is no question that Steve believed in what he was doing," the family said. "He never doubted why he was there. Steve died doing something he deeply believed in."
The U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center is investigating what caused the accident.