Four victims of an Iraqi Air Force plane crash were stationed at Hurlburt Field at Mary Esther just west of Fort Walton Beach.
Military sources tell the Northwest Florida Daily News that the four killed in Monday's turboprop crash were air commandos. An Iraqi pilot also died.
The dead were identified Maj. William Downs, pilot, 6th Special Operations Squadron; Capt. Jeremy Fresques, Special Tactics Officer, 23rd Special Tactics Squadron; Capt. Derek Argel, Special Tactics Officer, 23rd Special Tactics Squadron and Staff Sgt. Casey Crate, combat controller, 23rd Special Tactics Squadron.
The cause of the crash is unknown at this time and currently under investigation.
Their Seven SL turboprop went down near the village of Jalula about 80 miles northeast of Baghdad. No details have been released on the mission or the cause of the single-engine plane crash. The aircraft is normally outfitted to carry six people.
The Air Force's 12,000 special operations airmen are rarely mentioned publicly for their contributions in the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and the hunt for terrorists. Specific missions often are classified.