Minnesota National Guard crash victims identified (investigation).

The three Minnesota National Guard soldiers killed in Thursday’s helicopter crash southwest of St. Cloud have been identified.

In a tweet this morning, the Minnesota National Guard said 28-year-old James A. Rogers Jr., 30-year-old Charles P. Nord, and 28-year-old Kort M. Plantenberg were the men who died when the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed in Kimball, which is about 16 miles west of St. Cloud. The soldiers were conducting a maintenance test flight.

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According to the Minnesota National Guard, all three soldiers returned from deployment to the Middle East in May where they conducted medical evacuations in support of Operation Spartan Shield and Operation Inherent Resolve.

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The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, a 24-year veteran of the Army National Guard, issued a statement Saturday morning:

“On behalf of all Minnesotans, Gwen and I offer our deepest sympathies to the families of Chief Warrant Officer Two Charles Nord, Chief Warrant Officer Two James Rogers, and Sergeant Kort Plantenberg. They paid the ultimate price in their service to Minnesota and to the United States of America. Words will never ease the pain of this tragic loss and the state of Minnesota is forever in the debt of these warriors.”

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