Coast Guard searching for Marines after two helicopters collide near Oahu

Jan. 15, 2016
OAHU, HAWAII, 15 Jan. 2016. Two U.S. Marine Corps. CH-53 helicopters, each with six Marines on board, collided off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii, early this morning, according to U.S. Coast Guard officials.

Unfortunate update:

U.S. Coast Guard officials have called off the search for survivors after two CH-53 military helicopters went down off the coast of Hawaii on 14 Jan. 2016 during a training mission.
The U.S. Marines Corps are taking over recovery and salvage efforts going forward. Capt. James Jenkins, commander of the Coast Guard’s 14th District, delivered the news, saying “the decision to suspend the search without finding survivors was particularly difficult.”
The thoughts and condolences of the global aerospace and defense community are with all those affected.

OAHU, HAWAII, 15 Jan. 2016. Two U.S. Marine Corps. CH-53 helicopters, each with six Marines on board, collided off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii, early this morning, according to U.S. Coast Guard officials.

"The Marine Corps can confirm there is an active search-and-rescue operation ongoing for two CH-53E helicopters off the coast of Oahu. The U.S. Coast Guard is currently conducting search and rescue operations. The aircraft are from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing from Marine Corps Base Hawaii,” says Maj. Christian Devine, U.S. Marine Corps.

"Marine Corps Forces Pacific are currently working with the U.S. Coast Guard District 14 in ongoing search and rescue operations for two Marine CH-53E helicopters that were conducting a training flight off the coast of Oahu. We can confirm there are 12 Marines currently unaccounted for as a result of this incident, and officials will provide more details as they become available,” Maj. Devine adds.

The Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion heavy-lift helicopter of the Marine Corps can carry a 26,000-pound Light Armored Vehicle, 16 tons of cargo 50 miles and back, or enough combat-loaded Marines to lead an assault or humanitarian operation; but perhaps what's most amazing about the largest military helicopter in the U.S. is what it achieves despite its size. Though powerful enough to lift every aircraft in the Marine inventory except the KC-130, the CH-53E Super Stallion is compact enough to deploy on amphibious assault ships, and has the armament, speed and agility to qualify as much more than a heavy lifter.

Intelligent Aerospace editors continue to follow and report on this tragic news. Our thoughts are with all those affected, and we appreciate all those involved in the search for the missing Marines.

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