Nine soldiers died on Wednesday night during a training exercise in Kentucky when two military Black Hawk helicopters collided, according to authorities on Thursday morning. The accident occurred around 10 p.m. local time in Trigg County, west of Fort Campbell, according to a statement from the Army military base. Both HH-60 Black Hawk medical evacuation helicopters were being used in a training exercise when the accident occurred. The nine soldiers who died belonged to the 101st Airborne Division of Fort Campbell, although their identities have not yet been made public, pending notification to their closest family members. Brigadier General John Lubas of the 101st Airborne Division said that there were five people in one helicopter and four in the other, which he described as "fairly typical." Both helicopters were flying with night vision goggles, according to Lubas. The Army has deployed an air safety team from Alabama that will arrive later on Thursday and begin an investigation into the causes of the accident, according to Lubas. Although the General expressed hope that investigators could obtain data from the onboard computers, noting that there is something similar to a black box that can shed more light on the accident. The 101st Airborne Division is the Army's only airborne assault division and has confirmed the helicopter accident and several fatalities through an early Thursday morning tweet. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said during a press conference Thursday, "We know a lot about loss here in Kentucky, especially in recent years. We're going to do what we always do. We're going to wrap our arms around these families." Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in a statement that he is "heartbroken by the tragic loss." "My heart goes out to the families of these service members and to the members of the 101st Airborne Division who serve our country with courage and pride every day," he said. "I am saddened by this tragic loss and am working with Army leadership to ensure that our troops and their families are getting the care they need following this accident." Kentucky State Police were on the helicopter accident scene along with military investigators and several other agencies, according to the department's early Thursday morning press release. State police reported that the accident occurred in a partially wooded field and that a perimeter had been established around the wreckage. Tim Gore, a pastor in North Carolina, identified his son as one of the nine soldiers killed. In a statement provided to NBC News, he called his son, 25-year-old Staff Sergeant Caleb Gore, the real Captain America who loved serving his country in the Army. "His passion was search and rescue, and if you were injured on the battlefield, Caleb coming out of that helicopter would be the most beautiful thing you'd see," the statement said. "He was kind, compassionate and a gentle giant because he was built like a tank. He was about to become a registered nurse and was taking leadership training so he could continue his career training others in this field." In a separate Facebook post, Gore said his son's "precious wife," Haleigh, is pregnant and a baby is expected in about six months. "My son left a beautiful memory in the hearts of everyone he touched," Gore said in the statement. "He's my son. He's my hero, and I'm proud that God let him call me Dad." This is another tragic incident that reminds us of the great sacrifice that military personnel and their families make for their country. The thoughts and prayers of the entire nation are with the families of the deceased, as we wait for more details about the ongoing investigation. It is important to remember that training is a fundamental part of military service, as it is essential to prepare soldiers for difficult situations. However, it is equally important that all necessary precautions are taken to ensure the safety of military personnel during training. As a community, we must honor the sacrifice and dedication of those who serve our country. The soldiers who died in this tragic accident will be remembered and valued forever. The United States Army and local authorities have begun a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the accident. It is essential that a complete and transparent investigation be conducted to determine the cause of the accident and take measures to ensure that it does not happen again. In these difficult times, it is important to support the families of the deceased soldiers and the military community as a whole. We must stay united and support each other during these times of pain and sadness. Originally posted at Liga Legal®