ENTERPRISE, Ala. (WDHN) — An Enterprise High School graduate was among one of the five U.S. Army Special Operations aviation Soldiers killed as a result of a helicopter crash in the Mediterranean Sea.
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Stephen R. Dwyer, 38, of Clarksville, Tennessee, was a 2004 graduate of Enterprise High School.
“We are heartbroken to learn that Steve was killed while in service to our country,” Mayor William E. Cooper said. “I was Assistant Principal when he was in high school and I remember him fondly. Let’s all lift up his wife, their three boys, his parents, sister and other family members and friends in prayer as they go through this unimaginable time.”
Dwyer, along with Chief Warrant Officer 2 Shane M. Barnes, 34, Staff Sgt. Tanner W. Grone, 26, Sgt. Andrew P. Southard, 27, and Sgt. Cade M. Wolfe, 24, died in the November 10 crash.
“May their family and friends find comfort in the fact that these men were serving and defending their country, providing a fine example for all of us of true patriotism. May God Bless their souls,” Cooper said.
The Department of Defense announced the MH-60 Blackhawk encountered an in-flight emergency resulting in the crash. There were no signs the crash was caused by enemy/hostile actions, according to the DOD. The U.S. Army’s Combat Readiness Center is investigating the crash, which is standard procedure.
Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Stephen R. Dwyer received his commission in 2009 from the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. He served as a Field Artillery Commissioned Officer for six years before reverting to Warrant Officer and graduating from flight school in 2018. After several aviation assignments, Dwyer joined the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) as an MH-60M pilot in Charlie Company, 1st Battalion. He completed the Regiment’s extensive assessment and training program, and became a Basic Mission Qualified pilot, mission planner, and instructor pilot in Charlie Company.
While assigned to 160th SOAR (Abn.), Dwyer deployed to Iraq in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, and supported several no-notice deployments and exercises worldwide in support of national security objectives.
He graduated from the Basic Officer Leader Course, Field Artillery Officer Basic Course; Ranger School; Field Artillery Captain’s Career Course; Warrant Officer Orientation; UH-72A Aviator Qualification Course; Aviation Warrant Officer Basic Course; Aviation Tactical Operations Officer Course; Officer Combat Skills (Green Platoon); Combatives Level 1; MH-60M Pilot Basic Mission Course; UH-60M Advanced Course; Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape School; and the MH-60 Flight Instructor Pilot Course.
Dwyer’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with Combat device, four Army Commendation Medals, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, two Overseas Service Ribbons, NATO Medal, Ranger Tab, Combat Action Badge, Basic Army Aviator Badge, Parachute Badge and Air Assault Badge.