A military helicopter in the US has gone missing, the Marine Corps said on Wednesday, February 7. The helicopter, a CH-53E Super Stallion, was carrying five US Marines from Nevada to California. The chopper flew from an airbase near Nevada's Las Vegas on Tuesday, February 6. A search and rescue operation has been launched to trace the missing helicopter and five Marines.
In a statement, the US Marine Corps said: "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. The Marines were flying a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter from Creech Air Force Base to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar on Feb. 6, 2024, when the aircraft was reported overdue."
Search Efforts Disrupted By Stormy Weather:
According to the Marine Corps, the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing is coordinating search and rescue efforts with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and the Civil Air Patrol. A report by ABC News said when alerted, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department tried to dispatch a helicopter to find the missing chopper immediately. However, the "atmospheric river" storm in the area foiled their attempt.
Similarly, when the fire department learned about the missing helicopter, they sent crews to an area near Lake Morina area in Claifornia. However, they could not find the chopper and were hit by heavy snow and wintry conditions.
About CH-53E Super Stallion:
The CH-53E Super Stallion, operated by the US military, is a heavy-lift helicopter known for its immense power and capability. Nicknamed for its strength, it boasts three engines, a seven-bladed main rotor, and a unique angled tail rotor, allowing it to lift a whopping 16 tons of cargo internally or sling even heavier loads externally. While no longer in production, these iconic machines continue to serve as the US Marine Corps' primary heavy-lift platform, expected to remain operational until at least 2025.