Decatur native among the missing after Army helicopter goes down in Hawaii, family member says

DECATUR, Ala. - A family member tells WHNT News 19 that Decatur native Brian Woeber was among the five crewmen aboard a UH-60 Army Black Hawk helicopter when it went down near the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

The UH-60 Black Hawk went missing during a training mission when another Army helicopter lost visual and radio contact about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, said Lt. Col. Curtis Kellogg, a spokesman for the 25th Infantry Division.

"Our aviation assets, as well as all of our soldiers, train at night. It's what we do," he said. They need these skills to accomplish their wartime mission, Kellogg said.

Honolulu Fire Department search and rescue crews found and collected pieces of helicopter fuselage and a helmet in a debris field about 2 miles off Kaena Point on Oahu.

The search later moved to an area about 5 miles offshore where currents moving in different directions converge.

Officials closed the state park at Kaena Point while the search was underway. Kaena is a remote spot northwest of Honolulu where Oahu's northern and western coasts meet to form a small peninsula. The park's sandy coastline is home to a seabird colony and endangered Hawaiian monk seals.

A Coast Guard plane, two helicopters and several boats were being used in the search. The Army and Marine Corps joined the effort, as did Honolulu firefighters and lifeguards.

"As we do this work, the soldiers and their families are in the forefront of our minds. That's what we're doing this for," Kellogg said.