Update: Missing Marine Helicopter Located, Search for 5 Missing Marines Continues

Update: Missing Marine Helicopter Located, Search for 5 Missing Marines Continues

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Sarah E. Bitter, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Update at bottom of article.

A search is underway after 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 but failed to arrive.

Fox News reports:

“The U.S. Marine Corps is searching for five U.S. Marines assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing,” Marine Corps Air Station Miramar confirmed to Fox News. “The Marines were flying a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter from Creech Air Force Base to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar on Feb. 6, 2024, when the aircraft was reported overdue.

“The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing is coordinating search and rescue efforts with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and the Civil Air Patrol. The most up-to-date information will be released as it becomes available,” the statement continued.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, the Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Border Patrol, and Cal Fire are assisting the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing in search and rescue efforts.

The sheriff’s department was notified at about 1 a.m. that the helicopter was overdue for arrival and was last seen in Pine Valley, a mountainous region about 35 miles near San Diego.

Cal Fire responded to the area of the aircraft’s last known location in the Cleveland National Forest but was unable to locate it.

Marines Searching for Missing Helo with 5 Aboard Last Seen Over California Forest – USNI News

— U.S. Naval Institute (@NavalInstitute) February 7, 2024


Rescuers battled severe weather during their search for the missing helicopter, and the AP now reports the downed Super Stallion has been located.


Civilian authorities searching on ground and by air located the aircraft just after 9 a.m. near the mountain community of Pine Valley, about a 45-mile (72-kilometer) drive from San Diego, but rescue crews said snowy conditions were making access challenging on the ground, officials said.


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