VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A Sailor assigned to an East Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit died at a hospital Monday afternoon from injuries he sustained after a helicopter made a hard landing during joint training at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story on May 5.
Electronics Technician 1st Class Ryan DeKorte, 35, was from Lubbock, Texas and joined the Navy in 2014. After his initial training, he served aboard the USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) before his assignment to the Naval Special Warfare community in 2020.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the DeKorte family. Ryan was an exceptional teammate, and we mourn his tragic loss. We will stand in support of Ryan’s family forever and will never forget our teammate’s leadership, service and competence,” said Rear Adm. H.W. Howard III, commander, Naval Special Warfare Command. “Ryan was one of our premiere combat support technicians, who possessed all the attributes that make our force combat ready for highly complex and high-risk missions in the Nation’s defense. His humility, stewardship and commitment to Naval Special Warfare made an indelible mark on his teammates and our community.”
The details of the incident are currently under investigation.
A Navy official says the helicopter experienced a hard landing near DeKorte, who was on the ground and not in the aircraft, AP reports. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to provide details not yet made public.
Three people were reportedly sent to the hospital after the incident.
Officials are still investigating what caused the hard landing.
There is no further information.