Marine helicopter crashes while trying to land aboard the USS Mesa Verde

Posted at 5:10 PM, Sep 01, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-02 06:50:29-04

A Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 (Reinforced), 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, prepares to land aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde. (U.S. Marine Corps file photo by Cpl. Manuel A. Estrada)

Manama, Bahrain – A U.S. Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter assigned to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) crashed at sea Monday afternoon in the Gulf of Aden.

The helicopter was attempting to land aboard the Norfolk-based USS Mesa Verde.

All 25 people aboard the helicopter – 17 Marines and eight Navy Sailors – were safely recovered and are aboard the Mesa Verde. Personnel who sustained minor injuries in the crash were treated aboard the ship.

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The crash was not a result of hostile activity, according to the Navy. The helicopter was transferring the Marines and Sailors back to the Mesa Verde from training ashore in nearby Djibouti.

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

The Mesa Verde and the 22nd MEU are part of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group, which just had its deployment extended by three weeks.