An American soldier from Juneau was killed over the weekend while serving in Afghanistan.
Chief Warrant Officer Jacob Michael Sims, 36, died on Oct. 28 when his helicopter crashed in the Logar Province of Afghanistan.
The Department of Defense released the news on Sunday.
According to the DoD, Sims was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment at an Air Force Base just south of Tacoma, Washington. He was in Afghanistan supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, a counterterrorism mission that began in 2015.
On Sunday, Governor Bill Walker ordered US and Alaska flags be immediately lowered to half-staff for the next five days to honor Officer Sims.
“Chief Warrant Officer Sims and his family made the ultimate sacrifice for the rest of us,” Walker said. “Byron, Toni, Donna and I are holding his parents, his wife and his children in our daily prayers. While our state and our country lost a dedicated soldier, they lost their son, husband and father. Our military service members put themselves on the line in defense of the values we hold dear. We owe them a debt of gratitude.”
NATO’s Resolute Support in Afghanistan has confirmed that six additional American crew members that were aboard the helicopter were injured in the crash.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our comrade,” said NATO General John Nicholson, commander, Resolute Support. “On behalf of all of Resolute Support, our heartfelt sympathies go out to the families and friends of our fallen comrade and those injured in this unfortunate event.”
According to NATO, the incident is under investigation.