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A civilian employee of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service was one of four civilians killed in the Jan. 7 Black Hawk crash near Tal Afar, Iraq, the Pentagon announced Thursday.

Darren D. Braswell, 36, of Riverdale, Ga., was killed along with eight soldiers and three other civilians when a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter went down while flying between bases near Tal Afar and Mosul, officials said. Two of the other civilians were identified as employees of Dyncorp International, a contractor providing trainers for Iraq’s police force.

On Wednesday, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said bad weather had been reported in the area at the time of the crash, but that an investigation was under way to determine the cause. Enemy fire has not been ruled out, but military officials in Iraq said this week that it was not believed to be a factor.

Braswell is one of hundreds of civilians working for AAFES downrange. Many have volunteered to deploy from other overseas bases or the United States and work in countries such as Iraq. There are some 60 AAFES stores downrange, officials said.

Neither military nor civilian officials have identified the final passenger on board the Black Hawk.


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