Marines Dead After Helicopter Crash in Mountains

( – Five Marines went missing after their helicopter failed to reach its destination following a routine training mission. The armed forces branch teamed up with Civil Air Patrol and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department to search for the missing individuals, but ultimately all five were confirmed dead after the helicopter was found in a remote, mountainous area. Investigators are still trying to piece together what happened.

The five victims had been traveling from Creech Air Force Base, located near Las Vegas, to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, near San Diego, on February 6. The group, all members of the Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, was training that night in a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter when they were reported late in reaching their destination.

The Marines began to look for the missing servicemen, but the branch asked for assistance from the sheriff’s office, which brought in another helicopter, at roughly 1:50 a.m. An atmospheric river storm affecting the area hindered air search efforts, with the weather pattern causing heavy rains and even flooding in some areas. The department eventually switched to off-road vehicles to continue the search across the difficult terrain.

They found the crashed helicopter at around 9:00 a.m. on February 7, but they needed more time to recover all of the bodies.

The tragic news is just the latest in a string of deadly incidents involving military craft. shares that an MH-60 Black Hawk went down in the Mediterranean Sea in November, killing five Army soldiers. Earlier in the month, the US military grounded all of its Osprey V-22 helicopters after a material failure led to a crash that killed eight members of the Air Force. Six other service members survived a Navy helicopter crash off the California coast in January.

The names of the five most recent victims will remain withheld until 24 hours after officials have notified all next of kin.

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