Air Force Capt. Kermit O. Evans, 31, of Hollandale, Miss., was killed in the Dec. 3 crash of a Marine Corps CH-46 helicopter in Iraq, announced DOD Tuesday. An Air Force statement said Evans was a civil engineer explosive ordnance flight commander deployed to Balad AB, Iraq, from Cannon AFB, N.M. He was one of 16 people aboard the Marine helicopter when it made an emergency landing in Lake Qadishiyah in western al Anbar Province. Evans was one of four who did not survive the crash. Officials do not believe the aircraft was shot down, but an investigation is underway.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.