WASHINGTON, April 5, 2018 —
The Defense Department extends its deepest sympathies and prayers to the families and friends of the four Marines who died in an April 3 helicopter training accident in California and an Air Force Thunderbirds pilot who died yesterday in an F-16 crash in Nevada, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White told reporters today.
“Their loss is a tragic reminder of the tremendous risk our men and women undertake to serve our nation at home and abroad,” she said.
Four Marines from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California, were killed when their CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crashed near El Centro, California. The aircraft had departed the Strategic Expeditionary Landing Field at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, to conduct squadron training consisting of aircraft landings in unimproved zones, Marine Corps officials said.
The F-16 crashed over the Nevada Test and Training Range during a routine aerial demonstration training flight out of Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.
Names of the service members killed in the crashes have not been released, pending notification of next of kin. Both crashes are under investigation.
(Follow Terri Moon Cronk @MoonCronkDoD)