SPECIAL OPERATIONS: Seven MARSOC Marines Among 11 Aboard Missing Blackhawk

March 12, 2015 at 11:58 pm Leave a comment

Lost in the Fog.

A UH-60 Black Hawk from the 1st Battalion 244th Assault elicopter Battalion, Louisiana National Guard,  flies over a mosque in Baghdad in February 2009. (U.S. Army photo)

A UH-60 Black Hawk from the 1st Battalion 244th Assault Helicopter Battalion, Louisiana National Guard, flies over a mosque in Baghdad in February 2009.
(U.S. Army photo)

A U.S. Army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter crashed in the water during a routine exercise along the Florida coast near Eglin Air Force Base, according to the Pentagon and new outlets.

The wreckage of the chopper, which disappeared in heavy fog Tuesday (March 10), was discovered in the waters off Florida’s Panhandle on Wednesday (March 11). There were apparently no survivors on the Blackhawk, which carried a flight crew of four Army National Guardsmen and seven Marine commandos from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

All 11 service members aboard the aircraft are believed dead, and the operation has transitioned from search and rescue to recovery, an Air Force official said Thursday (March 12), CNN reported.

The helicopter was attached to the 1-244th Assault Helicopter Battalion based at Hammond, Louisiana. They were participating in a routine night training mission involving the Marine Special Operations Regiment from Camp Lejeune, officials said. A second Louisiana Guard Blackhawk participating in the same training exercise returned to base safely, the Guard said.

At a March 11 news conference, Major  General Glenn H. Curtis, the Adjutant General for the Louisiana National Guard, said the Black Hawk pilots had thousands of hours of flight experience and were “instructor pilots,” indicating they were experienced and qualified enough to train other pilots, the Washington Post reported. According to Curtis, it is one of the highest designations pilots in the Army can receive.

The Marines on board the downed helicopter were members of the Marine Special Operations Regiment, a unit of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command and U.S. Special Operations Command.

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Entry filed under: Aircraft, Army, Counter Terrorism, Marine Corps, National Security and Defense, News Developments, Skills and Training, Special Operations, Unconventional Warfare, Weaponry and Equipment. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

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