Breaking: Helicopter Carrying Five U.S. Marines Missing in Southern California

A military helicopter carrying five U.S. Marines went missing on a flight from Nevada to California on Tuesday. First responders have launched a search and rescue mission — the Marines are in contact with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office and are coordinating search efforts.

"The U.S. Marine Corps is searching for five U.S. Marines assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing," Marine Corps Air Station Miramar confirmed to Fox News. "The Marines were flying a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter from Creech Air Force Base to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar on February 6, 2024, when the aircraft was reported overdue.”

“The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing is coordinating search and rescue efforts with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and the Civil Air Patrol. The most up-to-date information will be released as it becomes available,” the statement continued.

Local first responders were first contacted about the incident early Wednesday morning. The San Diego Sheriff’s Office dispatched a helicopter to begin the search immediately, but the aircraft was called off due to the “atmospheric river” still flooding Southern California. The region has been battered by record-setting rain since Sunday — three people in the state have been killed by falling trees as the storm spawned flooding and mudslides.

The helicopter’s last known location was over the Cleveland National Forest, a 720 square mile area of undeveloped land that lies approximately 50 miles east of San Diego. Officials from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection responded to the Cleveland National Forest, but nothing was found.

The Cleveland National Forest is a part of the San Diego County Mountains, a region currently under a Winter Storm Warning until Thursday. The National Weather Service warns of “Heavy wet snow. Additional snow accumulations of 6 to 10 inches with 10 to 14 inches on the highest peaks. Winds gusting as high as 60 mph tonight and early Thursday.”

The incident comes roughly two months after a U.S. Air Force Osprey crashed off the coast of Japan in December. All eight crew members aboard the craft were killed in the incident.

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Helicopter Carrying Five U.S. Marines Missing in Southern California

The helicopter was en route from Nevada to California when it went ... READ MORE

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