Marine helicopter crashes, all 25 survive

140804-M-MX805-345 AT SEA (Aug. 04, 2014) A U.S. Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 263 (Reinforced), 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), prepares to land aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS the Mesa Verde (LPD 19). The 22nd MEU is deployed with the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout U.S. Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Manuel A. Estrada/Released)

A U.S. Marine Corps helicopter crashed at sea Monday with 25 military personnel on board.  All persons were rescued with only minor injuries reported.

The CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter is assigned to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary.  It went down in the Central Command area of operations.  The 17 Marines and 8 Navy sailor on the aircraft were brought aboard the USS Mesa Verde.

USA Today reported that a press release stated that only three persons sustained non-life threatening injuries due to the crash.  It also stated that the crash was not a result of hostile activity.

The military personnel on board the helicopter had finished training in Djibouti and were being transported back to the USS Mesa Verde.

According to the NY Daily News, the CH-53E Super Stallion aircraft went down when it attempted to land on the deck of the naval ship.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered the USS Mesa Verde, an amphibious transport dock ship based at Norfolk, Virginia, into the Persian Gulf earlier this summer, according to USA Today.  The order was in response to the growing concern of the Islamic State terrorist group’s advance on Iraq’s capital, Baghdad.

Troops and military supplies are transported by the ship.  Helicopters and vertical takeoff and landing aircraft are the primary transportation aircraft utilizing the ship’s deck, according to the NY Daily News.

Both the Marine Corps and the Navy will investigate the cause of the crash.


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