US identifies service members killed in Afghanistan chopper crash

Chief Warrant Officer 2s Kirk T. Fuchigami Jr. and David C. Knadle (Department of Defense)

Two U.S. service members who were killed when their helicopter crashed in Afghanistan have been identified.

The Department of Defense said Thursday that Chief Warrant Officer 2s David C. Knadle and Kirk T. Fuchigami Jr. died when their helicopter crashed while providing security for troops on the ground in eastern Logar Province.

Knadle and Fuchigami were assigned to a unit from Fort Hood, Texas. Knadle was 33 years old and was from Tarrant, Texas. Fuchigami was 25 and was from Keaau, Hawaii.

The Wednesday helicopter crash is under investigation. The Taliban claimed to have shot down the helicopter, but the U.S military dismissed that claim as false.

The crash brought the number of U.S. deaths in Afghanistan this year to 19. There also have been three non-combat deaths this year. More than 2,400 Americans have died in the nearly 18-year war.