Five Marines Confirmed After Helicopter Vanished In California

Five Marines have been confirmed dead after a helicopter they were aboard crashed earlier this week in California.

According to The New York Times, the helicopter, a CH-53E Super Stallion, was flying from Creech Air Force Base in Nevada to San Diego’s Marine Corps Air Station Miramar when it was reported as “overdue.” Hence, a search and rescue operation had to be conducted.

Eventually, officers with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and the Civil Air Patrol found the helicopter while they were combing through a snowy mountainous region on Wednesday.

Hours later, the announcement that all the Marines onboard the aircraft were dead.

In a statement announcing the incident, Maj. Gen. Michael J. Borgschulte said, “It is with a heavy heart and profound sadness that I share the loss of five outstanding Marines from 3d Marine Aircraft Wing and the ‘Flying Tigers’ while conducting a training flight last night. These pilots and crewmembers were serving a calling greater than self and were proud to do so.”

“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,” he added.

President Joe Biden reacted to the news in a statement on Thursday, in which expressed sadness on behalf of himself and first lady Jill Bden.

“As the Department of Defense continues to assess what occurred, we extend our deepest condolences to their families, their squadron, and the U.S. Marine Corps as we grieve the loss of five of our nation’s finest warriors,” he wrote, adding, “Today, as we mourn this profound loss, we honor their selfless service and ultimate sacrifice—and reaffirm the sacred obligation we bear to all those who wear the uniform and their families.”

The remains of the unidentified Marines have yet to be recovered. However, an investigation has been launched into the cause of the deadly crash which happened during a routine training exercise.