5 Marines Confirmed Killed in Helicopter Crash

(UnitedHeadlines.com) – The five Marines missing after their helicopter vanished Feb. 6 are confirmed dead after the crash site was located Feb. 7 in the mountains outside San Diego.

In a statement, the commanding general of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Maj. Gen. Michael J. Borgschulte, announced “the loss of five outstanding Marines.”

The CH-53E Super Stallion was returning to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, where the Marines were stationed, when it vanished Feb. 6. It had been conducting a routine training flight at the Creech Air Force Base near Las Vegas.

A search for the helicopter was launched by the Marines, along with help from the Civil Air Patrol, Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) Unit, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Border Patrol Search, Cal Fire San Diego, and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. The sheriff’s department stated they sent off-road vehicles to assist with the search because their helicopter was unable to reach the area due to a storm that brought snow to the region. Drones were also used to search the area.

Searchers located the crash site in the morning of Feb. 7, about an hour east of San Diego, near Pine Valley.

According to a statement, an investigation into the crash and efforts to recover the remains of the five Marines are ongoing. The spokesperson for the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Capt. Stephanie Leguizamon noted that the recovery efforts were hampered by the cold and snow.

Despite the hazardous weather conditions, “Their fellow Marines have remained by their sides,” according to 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing operations officer Col. James Ford. He added that the five Marines “continue to be guarded by their brothers and sisters.”

According to the Naval Air Systems Command website, the CH-53E Super Stallion is the U.S. military’s heaviest and largest helicopter. The helicopter is made to withstand the harshest conditions. However, it has been involved in other deadly crashes, including an April 2018 crash with a helicopter that was also from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing out of Miramar that killed four crew members.

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