Military Chopper Crash


Tucker Hill, Staff Writer

On Wednesday, March 11, a group of Marines and Army men were involved in a helicopter crash off the coast of Florida. The group was in the middle of a training mission. There were two groups during this mission and only the first chopper made it back. Early Wednesday morning, human remains and helicopter parts were washing to shore near Eglin Air Force Base. The Black Hawk was first reported missing during foggy conditions at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 10. Searchers found debris and stray parts of the helicopter near Okaloosa Island. Air Force, Coast Guard, and civilian agencies participated in an intensive search around the area they think the chopper went down. Capt. Barry Morris, a spokesman for the U.S. Marine Corps Special Operations Command, said, “We’re working closely with all the parties involved to locate our Marines and the Army crew that were onboard. And, really, just our thoughts and prayers are with the Marines, the soldiers and the families of those involved in the mishap.”

The aircrafts were both assigned to the Louisiana Army National Guard out of Hammond and taking part in what the U.S. military called a “routine training mission” involving the Marine Special Operations Regiment. The Army air members belonged to the Army National Guard unit out of Louisiana. By 11:15 a.m. relatives of all four Army men were notified, even though their names haven’t been released to the public yet. Morris said, “The Marines involved in the crash were all highly-trained members of the service’s special operations command.”

The pilots flying the helicopters were instructors. The whole crew had thousands of hours of operation flying these types of helicopters. Morris pointed out during an interview, “Those who get on such aircraft or take part in other military exercises aren’t always out of danger just because they’re off the battlefield. We have a requirement to conduct realistic military training, and unfortunately this mishap happened.”