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Missing Marine helicopter found in California, search for crew ongoing

The Marine Corps said five Marines were inside a helicopter that went missing early Wednesday near San Diego.
Search underway for missing Marine Corps helicopter in California
Posted at 9:25 AM, Feb 07, 2024

The Marine Corps said the helicopter it was searching for Wednesday morning has been located in Pine Valley, California, and the search for the crew is underway.

The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing said on X that civil authorities located the aircraft at 9:08 a.m. Ground and aviation assets from the Wing Operation Command Center are actively looking for five missing Marines. The San Diego County Sheriff's Department and several federal, state and local agencies are assisting the search.

The search for the missing CH-53E Super Stallion in the East County area started around 1 a.m. Wednesday. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department received a call from the Marine Corps about an hour later asking for their assistance.

Cal Fire also received a call from the Marine Corps asking for assistance. They responded to the area of the aircraft’s last known location in the Cleveland National Forest, where weather conditions are cold and snowy. 

"The Marines were flying a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter during a routine training flight from Creech Air Force Base to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar on Feb. 6, 2024, when the aircraft was reported overdue," the Marine Corps said in a statement. "The aircraft was located by civil authorities in Pine Valley, California at 9:08 a.m. PST on Feb. 7, 2024. The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing is managing search and rescue efforts through the Wing Operations Command Center and using ground and aviation assets to locate the aircrew in coordination with the San Diego County Sheriff's Department and multiple federal, state and local agencies. The most up-to-date information will be released as it becomes available."

This article was originally published by Melissa Mecija for Scripps News San Diego.

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