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Pentagon identifies soldier missing after helicopter crash off coast of Yemen

The Defense Department on Wednesday released the name of a soldier who has been missing since the helicopter he was on crashed off the coast of Yemen.

Staff Sgt. Emil Rivera-Lopez is listed as Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown, or DUSTWUN, according to the Pentagon.

Officials did not release any more information on Rivera-Lopez, including his age or which unit he belonged to.

“There is still an ongoing investigation, and until Staff Sgt. Rivera-Lopez‘s status changes, we will not release any additional information,” a spokesman for U.S. Central Command said when reached by phone.

The spokesman told Army Times the search for Rivera-Lopez, who was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, is ongoing.

Rivera-Lopez went missing last Friday when an Army Black Hawk helicopter crashed off the coast of Yemen.

The incident happened during a training event about 20 miles off the country’s southern coast.

Six troops were on the helicopter at the time of the crash. Five were rescued by U.S. forces.

The helicopter and crew belong to the Army’s elite 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, The Washington Post previously reported.

The crash occurred just two weeks after a UH-60 Black Hawk went down off the island of Oahu in a separate incident. The Army announced on Saturday that three of the five soldiers missing in that crash have been declared dead after organic matter discovered in the debris matched their DNA.

Five soldiers were onboard that helicopter when it crashed on Aug. 15, but the remaining two crew members are still considered DUSTWUN. All five soldiers belonged to 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division.

The three deceased soldiers were identified as 1st Lt. Kathryn Bailey, Staff Sgt. Abigail Milam and Sgt. Michael Nelson. The two who remain missing are Chief Warrant Officer 3 Brian Woeber and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Stephen Cantrell.

Staff writer Charlsy Panzino contributed to this report.

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