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Eglin transitions to recovery effort

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) -- Eglin Air Force Base search and rescue teams have located the missing Army UH-60 Black Hawk that was involved in an incident near the base March 11.

"At this point, we are not hopeful for survivors and we're transitioning our search and rescue to a recovery effort," said Col. Monte Cannon, the 96th Test Wing vice commander. "Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the family members and the units where our Soldiers and Marines call home."

The names of the military members will be released when next-of-kin notification is complete. Once names are releasable, please contact the respective Army National Guard and Marine Corps public affairs agencies to confirm those names.

It is anticipated the recovery will shift to the responsibility of the safety investigation board sometime today, March 12. That effort will be headed by the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center out of Fort Rucker, Alabama.

"I want to thank our partner agencies that have contributed their exhaustive efforts in the initial response to this terrible tragedy," Cannon said. "The U.S. Coast Guard and multiple state and county agencies have been extraordinarily supportive and we appreciate all their assistance."

The Eglin AFB Fire Department has been the lead for this emergency operation. They are teamed with more than 100 participants from the Hurlburt Fire Department, Santa Rosa County Sheriff, Santa Rosa County Emergency Response, Escambia County Search and Rescue, Coast Guard, Navarre Beach Fire Department and the Red Cross.

Anybody along the Santa Rosa Sound who finds wreckage or anything else they suspect may be involved with the crash of the helicopter, call the Hurlburt Field Public Affairs at (850) 884-7464, ext. 4.

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