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Identities released of National Guard soldiers who died in Mississippi helicopter crash

Derek Joshua Abbott (left) and Bryan Andrew Zemek (right) were the two Mississippi National Guard soldiers who died on Friday in a helicopter crash. Photos courtesy of Gov. Tate Reeves.

The identities of two Mississippi National Guard soldiers who were killed during a helicopter crash in Prentiss County have been released.

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Bryan Andrew Zemek, 36, and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Derek Joshua Abbott, 42, were aboard the AH-64 Apache when it went down during a routine training flight on Friday afternoon. Gov. Tate Reeves released their identities on Saturday.

“I want to extend my deepest condolences to the families and friends of our fallen soldiers. We will always remember these dedicated Soldiers for their honorable service, and we grieve with the families during this tragic time,” Reeves wrote.

“With a heavy heart, let us remember it is through that bravery and courage of the men and women in our armed forces that we are able to retain the freedoms we hold dear. Today and every day, let us express our thanks and gratitude to those who have and continue to put on the uniform in defense of our state and nation.”

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

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