Military helicopter went missing with 5 US Marines on board after leaving Nevada

Military helicopter

Unexplained Disappearance of Military Helicopter: Urgent Search-and-Rescue Operation in Progress

The sudden disappearance of a United States military helicopter has triggered a widespread search-and-rescue operation. The CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter, carrying five Marines, vanished en route from Nevada to Southern California. The urgency of the situation has prompted coordinated efforts from multiple agencies.

Background of the Missing Helicopter: Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361

The missing helicopter is associated with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, a critical component of Marine Aircraft Group 16 within the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. The CH-53E Super Stallion, known for its heavy-lift capabilities, plays a vital role in troop and equipment transportation.

Departure from Creech Air Force Base: Destination – Marine Corps Air Station Miramar

The ill-fated journey began at Creech Air Force Base, with the intended destination being Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in Southern California. The helicopter’s departure and intended route raise questions about the circumstances leading to its disappearance.

The Missing Marines: Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

The five Marines on board, assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361 within Marine Aircraft Group 16 of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, add a human dimension to this distressing situation. Their identities and roles within the Marine Corps highlight the potential impact of this incident.

Search-and-Rescue Efforts: Coordinated Efforts by 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing is spearheading the search-and-rescue efforts, collaborating with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and the Civil Air Patrol. This multi-agency approach underscores the gravity of the situation and the commitment to locating the missing helicopter and its occupants.

Cal Fire’s Response to the Missing Helicopter: Search in Pine Valley and Challenging Weather Conditions

Cal Fire swiftly responded to the situation, receiving a distress call at 2:20 a.m. The search focused on Pine Valley, a mountainous area near the Cleveland National Forest. However, challenging weather conditions, including near-zero visibility and heavy snowfall, are complicating the search efforts.

Weather Challenges in the Search Operation: Continued Adverse Weather Forecast

The National Weather Service has issued alerts about ongoing adverse weather conditions in Southern California, with predictions of more rain and mountain snow. These weather challenges pose significant obstacles to the ongoing search operation, affecting both ground and aerial efforts.

Ongoing Ground and Aerial Search: Challenges in Visibility and Snowfall

As the search continues, teams are navigating challenging conditions on the ground and employing drones for aerial surveillance. However, near-zero visibility and heavy snowfall are hindering progress. The dynamic nature of the weather adds an unpredictable element to the search efforts.

Call for Information from the Public: Contacting San Diego Authorities

In a plea for assistance, authorities are urging anyone with information about the missing helicopter or its occupants to contact San Diego authorities. Public involvement could prove crucial in gathering leads or details that aid the ongoing search-and-rescue mission.


The unexplained disappearance of the military helicopter has prompted a comprehensive search-and-rescue operation. As agencies collaborate and brave adverse weather conditions, the hope is to locate the missing helicopter and its occupants. The collective efforts reflect the commitment to bringing resolution to this distressing situation.


Q. How did the helicopter go missing?

  • The circumstances leading to the helicopter’s disappearance are currently under investigation.

Q. What capabilities does the CH-53E Super Stallion have?

  • The CH-53E Super Stallion is a heavy-lift helicopter capable of transporting troops, equipment, and supplies.

Q. How can the public contribute to the search efforts?

  • Anyone with information about the missing helicopter is urged to contact San Diego authorities to aid the ongoing search-and-rescue mission.

Q. What agencies are involved in the search operation?

  • The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, and the Civil Air Patrol are coordinating search efforts.

Q. What challenges are search teams facing in the ongoing operation?

  • Challenging weather conditions, including near-zero visibility and heavy snowfall, are hindering both ground and aerial search efforts.

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