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Phoenix native killed in Army chopper crash in Iraq

A U.S. Army Special Operations helicopter pilot who was born in Phoenix died Monday after a crash in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Taylor J. Galvin, 34, was more recently a resident of Spokane, Wash., the Department of Defense said.

He died in Baghdad after a crash in Sinjar, Ninevah Province, in the section of Iraq controlled by Kurdish forces near the border with Syria.

Galvin was assigned to Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) — known as the Night Stalkers — based in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Galvin was on his ninth combat deployment.

The crash is under investigation, but enemy fire is not suspected to be the cause, military sources indicated. Three personnel who were aboard the helicopter were evacuated for treatment of their injuries, a Pentagon spokesman said. Galvin was the only U.S. soldier killed in the incident.

Flags across Arizona will fly at half-staff on Wednesday in honor of Galvin, Gov. Doug Ducey ordered. Flags will also be lowered on the day of his internment, which has not been set.

Galvin "made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of his country, and we are forever grateful," Ducey said.

Galvin enlisted in the Army as an aircraft mechanic in 2003, attended Warrant Officer Candidate School in 2007, and flight school in 2008. He was assigned to the special operations unit in 2015, as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot.

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Galvin was deployed twice as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, three times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (most likely in Afghanistan), and four times  of Operation Inherent Resolve (the U.S. military's operations against ISIS in Iraq and Syria).

His awards and decorations include one Air Medal (C device); Air Medal (3OLC); Army Commendation Medal(2OLC); Joint Service Air Medal (OLC); Army Achievement Medal (2OLC); Meritorious Unit Award; Army Good Conduct Medal (3); National Defense Service Medal (2); Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Iraq Campaign Medal; Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Global War On Terrorism Service Medal; NATO Medal; Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon (3); Combat Action Badge and Senior Army Aviator Badge.

There are about 5,000 U.S. troops deployed in Iraq, with another 2,000 operating in Syria. About 14,000 U.S. forces are in Afghanistan, 17 years after the first American invasion.

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