SD Based Navy SEAL Killed in Chopper Crash

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    NEWSLETTERS

    U.S. Navy

    A San Diego based Navy Seal was among nine killed in the worst coalition helicopter crash in Afghanistan in four years.

    Lt. Brendan Looney, 29, was supporting a special operations mission in Zabul province when the chopper went down Tuesday. The cause of the crash was not immediately clear.

    Senior Chief Cryptologic Technician David McLendon, 30, Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class Adam Smith, 26, Special Warfare Operator 3rd Class Denis Miranda, 24, and five U.S. Army air crew members also died in the crash. Three other coalition personnel are in critical condition at a U.S. medical facility in Afghanistan, Navy officials said.

    "On behalf of the entire Naval Special Warfare community -- we extend our sincerest condolences to all the families of our fallen brothers, our Navy SEALs and support tech, Army air crewmen, and coalition personnel," said Rear Adm. Edward Winters, commander, Naval Special Warfare Command. "Our prayers are with these families during this very difficult time."

    Looney graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2004, according to Navy officials. Fellow Seals described Looney as a skilled Seal operator who led and motivated the people around him. 

    “These men bravely and unselfishly answered the nation's call to defend freedom and protect the nation and its allies from terrorism,” said Rear Adm. Winters. “The loss of these brave warriors will only strengthen our resolve in the fight against extremism and terror.”

     This year has already become the deadliest of the Afghan war for international troops, surpassing last year's total of 504 deaths.