US Helicopter Goes Missing With Marines On Board

Reports show a U.S. Marine Corps helicopter carrying five crew members went missing on February 7, and first responders scoured the area for any signs of life.

After taking off from Creech Air Force Base, close to Las Vegas, the CH-53E Super Stallion was scheduled to touch down at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in California. However, it failed to show up and was subsequently marked as delayed.

In a statement, the Marine Corps verified that five individuals from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, which is a component of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, were presumed missing.

The Marines contacted the Civil Air Patrol and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department to aid in the search. After receiving the information just before 2 a.m., the sheriff’s department sent a helicopter to assist with the search. Unfortunately, severe weather prevented it from reaching the region. The dispatch of off-road vehicles had also bolstered the search.

The firemen from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said that they had gone to the last known position of the helicopter but had come up empty-handed.

An intense weather event pummeled California, bringing with it heavy rain, strong winds, and snow.  According to the National Weather Service, it was among the wettest storm systems to affect the greater Los Angeles region.

The U.S. Marine Corps said on February 8 that five Marines who went missing were found dead, almost twenty-four hours after their training helicopter crashed in California.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said the courageous Marines, their loved ones, and colleagues are in his thoughts and prayers.  As the Marine Corps digs into this tragic incident, it serves as a sobering reminder of the daily sacrifices made by our brave military men throughout the globe to ensure the safety of our nation.

A U.S. military Osprey went down on Yakushima Island, Japan, on November 29, killing eight servicemen. The Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps grounded their approximately 400 Ospreys as a result of the aircraft’s temporary removal from duty.