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Soldier killed in Afghanistan helicopter crash graduated in Las Vegas

Dignified Transfer Held For 2 Soldiers Killed In Helicopter Crash In Afghanistan
Posted at 9:59 AM, Nov 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-22 14:19:09-05

One of the Army pilots killed this week in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan was a graduate of Rancho High School, according to the school's principal.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kirk T. Fuchigami Jr. graduated in 2012. He was a member of Rancho's JROTC and in the aviation magnet program, according to Principal James Kuzman.

Kuzman also told 13 Action News that they plan to have a ceremony to honor Fuchigami in the future and add his name to a memorial that is located outside the high school.

Kuzman also told 13 Action News that Fuchigami, who was based in Fort Hood, was married 8 months ago. He will be buried at the Utah Veterans Cemetery and Memorial Park at Camp Williams, according to Deseret News.

The other pilot has been identified as Chief Warrant Officer 2 David C. Knadle.

Both pilots who were killed were Apache helicopter pilots assigned 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, according to the Stars and Stripes.

The crash destroyed the helicopter, which was participating in a night raid.

President Trump made an unannounced trip to Delaware to greet the plane that brought the soldiers home. He also met with the pilots' family members, according to the White House.

The Stars and Stripes says there have been 19 U.S. combat deaths in Afghanistan in 2019, the deadliest year for American troops in the country since international combat operations ended in late 2014.