Five marines confirmed killed after helicopter crash

SAN DIEGO, CA – The U.S. Marine Corps confirmed the death of five Marines over 24 hours after their helicopter crashed during a training exercise on Thursday. The Marines were declared missing after their CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter failed to report back to the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar on Tuesday night. The helicopter had taken off from Creech Air Force Base near Las Vegas and was headed towards Miramar in San Diego.

In response to the overdue report, the Marine Corps initiated a search operation, enlisting the assistance of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and Civil Air Patrol. The Sheriff’s department reported receiving a distress call at around 1:50 a.m. and dispatched a helicopter to the suspected crash site. However, due to an ongoing atmospheric river storm in the region, the helicopter was unable to reach the location. The department subsequently deployed off-road vehicles to navigate the challenging terrain.

The wreckage of the missing helicopter was located at 9:08 a.m. on Wednesday. The recovery of the five Marines’ remains is still in progress, and an investigation into the incident has been launched.

President Joe Biden expressed his deep sorrow over the incident, noting that the training mission was routine. He extended his deepest condolences to the families of the deceased, their squadron, and the U.S. Marine Corps. He also expressed his gratitude to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary-Civil Air Patrol, and other federal, state, and local agencies for their dedication in the search and recovery efforts.

Maj. Gen. Michael J. Borgschulte also paid tribute to the fallen Marines, expressing gratitude for their service and promising support and care for their families during this difficult time.