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The US military has officially confirmed the loss of five Marines in a helicopter crash in Southern California.
Following an intensive search operation in San Diego County’s mountainous terrain, the announcement came on Thursday. Maj. Gen. Michael Borgschulte expressed “profound sadness” over the loss. He said, “These pilots and crewmembers were serving a calling greater than self and were proud to do so. We will forever be grateful for their call to duty and selfless service. 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.”
The accident occurred during a training flight from Creech Air Force Base in Nevada to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, involving a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter. The search for the Marines began early Wednesday and faced challenges due to severe storms and the rugged terrain of Pine Valley. Efforts to recover the Marines and the lost equipment are ongoing, with the names of the deceased withheld pending notification of next of kin.
President Biden also joined in mourning the loss; he said, “Our service members represent the very best of our nation—and these five Marines were no exception. 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.”