The Gateway Pundit reported that a U.S. military helicopter with five U.S. Marines onboard went missing during a flight from Nevada to California on Tuesday.
The CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter departed Creech Air Force Base in Nevada en route to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar near San Diego Tuesday evening during training exercises but failed to arrive.
The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing confirmed on Thursday that the 5 missing Marines have been declared deceased.
Update: The five 3rd MAW Marines have been confirmed deceased.
“To the families of our fallen Marines, we send our deepest condolences and commit to ensuring your support and care during this incredibly difficult time.” -Maj. Gen. Borgschulte, 3rd MAW Commanding General pic.twitter.com/CBLs2jDKWG
— 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (@3rdmaw) February 8, 2024
Officials said Thursday that the Marines were conducting a training exercise and flying a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter from Creech Air Force Base in Clark County, Nevada to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California. The helicopter reported its last-known location at around 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, and was reported overdue at around 1 a.m. Wednesday morning, according to the Marine Corps.
The crashed helicopter was found in a mountainous, rugged area east of San Diego at around 9 a.m. on Wednesday, officials said. Search and rescue crews and federal and local agencies looked for the Marines as rain and snow lashed the area. The weather conditions complicated the search efforts, with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department saying that heavy cloud cover early Wednesday morning prevented it from deploying its helicopter. The U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Border Patrol also contributed to the search effort, since the area where the helicopter crashed is near the U.S.-Mexico border.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, the Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Border Patrol, and Cal Fire assisted the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing in search and rescue efforts.