Missing U.S. Military Helicopter Located in Southern California; Search Continues for 5 Marines Onboard

California (agadari) – Authorities are currently conducting a search in the Cleveland National Forest for a missing U.S. military helicopter.

Authorities announced on Wednesday that they have located the U.S. military helicopter that disappeared during its journey from Nevada to California. The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing took to social media to report that search and rescue teams were actively searching for the five Marines onboard.

The CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter was discovered in Pine Valley, California, east of San Diego, at 9:08 a.m. The search efforts, which involved federal agencies, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, and the Civil Air Patrol, had been underway for several hours prior to the finding.

The Marine Corps reported that the helicopter, which was flying from Creech Air Force Base in Clark County, Nevada to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, was reported overdue on Tuesday.

According to CBS News, the Miramar spokesperson informed the sheriff’s department that the helicopter was overdue at 1 a.m.

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According to a spokesperson from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s San Diego office, firefighters were first sent to a site near the Cleveland National Forest. The area was characterized by its challenging terrain, and at the time, heavy snow was falling. However, upon arrival, no evidence or traces of anything were discovered at the location.

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Cal Fire reached out to the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Border Patrol for assistance in the search operation. The forest’s proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border made it necessary to involve these agencies.

According to a spokesperson from the sheriff’s department, the search effort was hindered on Wednesday morning due to the heavy cloud cover, which made it impossible for the agency to deploy its helicopter.

The National Weather Service’s San Diego office predicts that the area will experience rain, snow showers, and fog. Some parts of the region may see 1 to 3 inches of snow throughout the day. As the day progresses, snow accumulation is expected to reach 4 to 6 inches in certain areas by Wednesday night.

The Marine Corps has reported that the five Marines who are currently missing belong to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, which is a part of Marine Aircraft Group 16 and 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.

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