(CNN) The US Army chief of staff has ordered all corps airmen not involved in critical missions to remain on the ground, following recent crashes involving two helicopters that left 12 soldiers dead.
The decision by Army Chief of Staff James McConville grounded airmen “until they complete the required training,” according to the Army.
“The safety of our Airmen is our top priority, and this action is an important step to ensure that we are doing everything possible to prevent accidents and protect our personnel,” McConville said in a statement.
Army pilots, under McConville’s direction, “will focus on safety protocols and training to ensure our pilots and aircrews have the knowledge, training, and awareness to safely complete their assigned mission.”
This suspension comes after two AH-64 Apache helicopters collided in mid-air this Thursday near Fort Wainwright, Alaska, which killed three soldiers and injured one more.
Last month, nine soldiers were killed when two HH-60 Blackhawks collided during routine overnight training near Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
The incidents are under investigation, according to the Army, but “there is no indication of any pattern” between the two.