5 Marines Found Dead Following Helicopter Crash

(StraightNews.org) – Five US Marines who went missing during a helicopter flight from Nevada to California have been found dead. The Marines were conducting a training exercise on a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter, which took off from Creech Air Force Base in Clark County, Nevada, and was on its way to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego when the accident happened. The aircraft never reached its destination and was reported as overdue at around 1 am on the morning of February 7.

In treacherous weather conditions, the helicopter came down in a rugged and mountainous region close to San Diego, where search and rescue teams attempted to find the lost Marines. San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said its rescue efforts were hampered by rain and snow, with clouds preventing the launch of a search and rescue helicopter.

On February 8, Maj Gen Michael J Borgschulte, commander of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, released a statement saying the helicopter had been found. “It is with a heavy heart and profound sadness that I share the loss of five outstanding Marines from 3d Marine Aircraft Wing,” he said.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said an investigation is ongoing, while President Biden offered his condolences to the Marines’ families and described them as the “very best of our nation.”

The CH-53E Super Stallion is one of the largest helicopters the US military uses and is often employed for heavy-lifting operations. It has a checkered safety history and has been involved in several incidents over the past decade.

In 2018, four crew members died when a CH-53 helicopter crashed during a training exercise near El Centro, California. Two years earlier, in 2016, 12 Marines perished when two of the large helicopters crashed into each other near Oahu in Hawaii. A report on the latter incident blamed pilot error, poor training, and lack of communication. Investigators revealed that the pilots failed to keep a safe distance from each other in the night sky.

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