A Marine helicopter reported missing while en route to a Marine air station in San Diego was located on Wednesday morning in Pine Valley, approximately 40 miles east of San Diego. The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, which made the announcement, is actively coordinating search-and-rescue operations both on the ground and in the air to locate the missing crew members. The condition of the helicopter has not been disclosed.
The helicopter, a CH-53E Super Stallion belonging to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, was reported overdue after departing Creech Air Force Base in Nevada. It encountered treacherous weather conditions marked by three days of relentless rain in California, complicating its journey to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego. The search operation involves multiple agencies, including the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and the Civil Air Patrol, amid challenging conditions of heavy snow and muddy terrain.