4 Marines Die In A Helicopter Crash, The Second Marine Aircraft To Crash That Day

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Four Marines are presumed dead after their CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crashed in California during a training mission – the second Marine Corps aircraft crash on the same day, officials said.


The helicopter from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing went down near El Centro, California, around 2:35 p.m. local time on April 3, the Marines announced Wednesday. The names of the four crew members presumed killed will be released after their next of kin have been notified.

The cause of the crash is under investigation and no further information about what happened was immediately available on Wednesday morning.

Related: The KC-130 Crash Is Just The Latest Tragedy In The Marine Corps’ Worsening Aviation Mishap Crisis »

Also on April 3, a Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier crashed during takeoff from Djibouti Ambouli International Airport around 4 p.m. local time, a spokesman for U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said.

The pilot ejected and was listed in stable condition at Camp Lemonnier's expeditionary medical facility, said Cmdr. Bill Urban. The Harrier came from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 162, based out of Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina. It was embarked aboard the USS Iwo Jima.

In total, 13 U.S. service members have been killed in separate aircraft crashes since March 14: Two Navy aviators died when their F/A-18F Super Hornet crashed off Florida, and seven airmen were killed on March 15 when their Air Force HH-60 crashed in western Iraq, near the Syrian border.

The combined effects of budget cuts, apathy from Congress, delays in new aircraft programs, and the wear and tear of 17 years of war have made it more dangerous for military aircraft to fly – especially planes and helicopters that continue to fly long after they were supposed to be retired.

The problem became so bad that Defense Secretary James Mattis told the military branches to stop talking about readiness shortfalls in March 2017.

It didn't take long for a central theme to emerge at the funeral of U.S. Marine Pfc. Joseph Livermore, an event attended by hundreds of area residents Friday at Union Cemetery in Bakersfield.

It's a theme that stems from a widespread local belief that the men and women who have served in the nation's armed forces are held in particularly high esteem here in the southern valley.

"In Bakersfield and Kern County, we celebrate our veterans like no place else on Earth," Bakersfield Chief of Police Lyle Martin told the gathering of mourners.

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An Air Force Special Tactics combat controller that "delivered thousands of pounds of munition" during a close-range 2007 firefight in Afghanistan was awarded the Silver Star on Friday.

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ROCKFORD — Delta Force sniper Sgt. First Class James P. McMahon's face was so badly battered and cut, "he looked like he was wearing a fright mask" as he stood atop a downed Black Hawk helicopter and pulled free the body of a fellow soldier from the wreckage.

That's the first description of McMahon in the book by journalist Mark Bowden called "Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War." It is a detailed account of the horrific Battle of the Black Sea fought in the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia, in October 1993. It claimed the lives of 18 elite American soldiers.

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The July arrests of 16 Camp Pendleton Marines in front of their 800-person battalion was unlawful and a violation of their rights, a Marine Corps judge ruled Friday.

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Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher will retire as a chief petty officer now that President Donald Trump has restored his rank.

"Before the prosecution of Special Warfare Operator First Class Edward Gallagher, he had been selected for promotion to Senior Chief, awarded a Bronze Star with a "V" for valor, and assigned to an important position in the Navy as an instructor," a White House statement said.

"Though ultimately acquitted on all of the most serious charges, he was stripped of these honors as he awaited his trial and its outcome. Given his service to our Nation, a promotion back to the rank and pay grade of Chief Petty Officer is justified."

The announcement that Gallagher is once again an E-7 effectively nullifies the Navy's entire effort to prosecute Gallagher for allegedly committing war crimes. It is also the culmination of Trump's support for the SEAL throughout the legal process.

On July 2, military jurors found Gallagher not guilty of premeditated murder and attempted murder for allegedly stabbing a wounded ISIS fighter to death and opening fire at an old man and a young girl on separate occasions during his 2017 deployment to Iraq.

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