Searchers Seek 7 Marines, 4 Soldiers After Helicopter Accident

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, March 11, 2015 - Search and rescue teams are looking for seven Marines and four soldiers this morning after an accident near Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

Two National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters were participating in a training exercise overnight, Eglin spokesman Andy Bourland said in a news release.

The aircraft are assigned to the 1-244th Assault Helicopter Battalion in Hammond, Louisiana. They were participating in a routine training mission involving the Marine Special Operations Regiment from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, he said.

Searchers Find Debris

One of the helicopters, with four aircrew members and seven Marines aboard, was involved in an accident near Eglin range site A-17, east of the Navarre Bridge, Bourland said. The helicopter was reported missing at about 8:30 p.m. last night, and a search and rescue team found debris at about 2 a.m. today, he added.

Search and rescue efforts are underway at the accident site, Bourland said. The second helicopter returned to Eglin, and all Marines and soldiers aboard are accounted for.

Names of the soldiers and Marines are being withheld pending notification of their families, and the accident is under investigation, Bourland said.

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