Navy Red Sea helicopter crash victims identified
CORONADO (CNS) – The Navy has identified two helicopter crew members
killed when a Coronado-based MH-60S Knighthawk crashed Sunday in the Red Sea.
The victims were Lt. Cmdr. Landon Jones, 35, of Lompoc, and Chief
Warrant Officer Jonathon Gibson, 32, of Aurora, Ore., the Navy reported.
The chopper, assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 6 at Naval Air
Station North Island, crashed while the pilot was trying to land on deck of the
San Diego-based guided-missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence and was not
related to “any sort of hostile activity,” Navy officials said.
Three of the helicopter's five crew members were “accounted for and
stable” following the crash, according to the Navy.
Searchers combed the area in boats and aircraft to no avail. The search
was called off Monday when it became apparent that the odds of survivability
were low, according to the Navy.
The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and the William P. Lawrence, along with
USS Princeton, USS Shoup, USS Stockdale and USNS Rainier, were involved in the
search efforts, as were Navy and U.S. Air Force aircraft, according to the
The vessels are part of a buildup of U.S. military forces in the region
that started after the regime in nearby Syria attacked a suburb of the capital
of Damascus with chemical weapons on Aug. 21, killing 1,429 people.