Breaking: 5 U.S. Marines Killed

0
43
crash

A significant update was released to the press on the crash of a military helicopter carrying five U.S. Marines. The first word to make it down the mountain was that none of them survived, which wasn’t entirely unexpected. After families were notified, the names were disclosed. The latest reports detail exactly how difficult the recovery operation turned out to be. Most importantly, “their fellow Marines have remained by their side, as Marines do, and took shifts throughout the night at the mishap site, keeping watch over the fallen despite the hazardous weather conditions.

Crash victims not alone

According to a recently released statement about the crash, by Colonel James Ford of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, “since our five aircrew of Marine heavy helicopter squadron 361 were located, their fellow Marines have remained by their side, as Marines do.

They “took shifts throughout the night at the mishap site, keeping watch over the fallen despite the hazardous weather conditions. Our fellow Marines were, and continue to be, guarded by their brothers and sisters.

Wreckage of the CH-53E heavy-lift helicopter was found the morning of February 7, in Pine Valley. The rugged mountainous terrain lies “some 30 miles east of the San Diego station.

From the beginning, the search was “hampered by heavy snow.” While weather was certainly a factor, the cause of the crash has not yet been determined.

The Marines did explain that the flight was a “routine flight training” mission at the time of the crash and listed the names of the deceased.

Those killed were Lance Cpl. Donovan Davis, 21, of Olathe, Kansas; Sgt. Alec Langen, 23, of Chandler, Arizona; Capt. Benjamin Moulton, 27, of Emmett, Idaho; Capt. Jack Casey, 26, of Dover, New Hampshire; and Capt. Miguel Nava, 28, of Traverse City, Michigan.

Hazardous terrain

As related by Colonel Ford, “the focus has shifted to recovering the remains.” The crash happened in “hazardous terrain,” which means recovery efforts are limited to what they can do from the ground.

Multiple agencies are involved in the operation as snow continues to fall.

Major General Michael J. Borgschulte, commanding general of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, issued a separate statement about the crash noting “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.

Most families were notified by nightfall the day the incident happened.

Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas J. Harvey, their unit’s commanding officer, remains in shock. “We have been confronted with a tragedy that is every service family’s worst fear. Our top priority now is supporting the families of our fallen heroes, and we ask for your respect and understanding as they grieve.

Next, attention will turn to determining the cause of the fatal crash. “Super Stallion helicopters have been involved in several wrecks over the past decade, at least two of them fatal.