May 8, 2008

WAINWRIGHT, ALBERTA — US Army Specialist Josef Cerfus, 25, with A Company, First Battalion, 5-159th Aviation Regiment from Fort Lewis, Wash. died after being injured during field exercise MAPLE GUARDIAN on Monday, May 5 at the Canadian Manoeuvre Training Center at CFB Wainwright, Alta.

Specialist Cerfus was part of “sling load” operations with a US Army Chinook helicopter when the accident occurred. He was treated on the scene by emergency medical technicians and evacuated to the Wainwright hospital shortly after where he was pronounced dead at approximately 11:54 a.m. MT.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with US Army Specialist Josef Cerfus’ family during this most difficult time,” said Maj.-Gen. Stuart Beare, Canada’s Army training commander in Kingston, Ont. “Specialist Cerfus was serving his Army and his unit by participating in the preparation of Canadian Forces men and women destined for deployment in Afghanistan. He and his unit have served us – and we will do everything we can to support them and the Cerfus family in return, especially in this time of need.”

The Canadian Forces are securing the scene of the accident pending the arrival of a U.S. Army flight safety team who will conduct an investigation. Since the accident is under investigation, no further comments will be made.

Exercise MAPLE GUARDIAN is a key exercise and CMTC is a national training centre which designs and delivers collective training in Full Spectrum Operations in the contemporary operating environment.

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