The US Marine Corps confirmed on Thursday that five US Marines perished when their CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crashed during a training flight in a mountainous region of southern California.
“It is with a heavy heart and profound sadness that I share the loss of five outstanding Marines from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing and the `Flying Tigers’ while conducting a training flight last night,” Maj. Gen. Borgschulte, commanding general of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, said in a statement.
The helicopter took off for Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego on Wednesday, “reported overdue,” from Creech Air Force Base, which is close to Las Vegas, Nevada.
“These five Marines were no exception—our service members represent the very best of our country,” the statement read.
Mainstay of the US Marine Corps, the Sikorsky CH-53E is primarily utilized as a heavy-lift transport aircraft.