Mideast briefs: Downed Apache crew recovered
The crew of an Apache helicopter that went down over northern Iraq on Wednesday has been recovered uninjured, U.S. military officials said Thursday.
The Army AH-64 attack helicopter, from an unidentified unit, “conducted a precautionary landing due to mechanical failure” about 35 miles south of Mosul, officials had said.
Other U.S. forces rushed to the site shortly after and secured the area, but no information was made available about the pilots until Thursday.
The incident remains under investigation, officials said.
650 U.S. soldiers re-enlist at KirkukMore than 650 members of the 116th Brigade Combat Team re-enlisted at a ceremony in Kirkuk last week, officials said, making what was believed to be the largest such ceremony in Iraq.
U.S. military officials have repeatedly said re-enlistment rates downrange have been higher than those for stateside units. Part of that, they acknowledge, has to do with a $15,000 tax-free bonus offered to National Guard soldiers such as the 116th BCT. Throughout the brigade, officials said, more than $7 million in bonuses and incentives have been awarded for re-enlistments.
But many other soldiers cite their friends in the unit, their sense of duty and other reasons for staying in.