Five US Marines missing on military helicopter in California

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Five U.S. Marines are missing in California as crews search for a military helicopter over a mountainous region of the state.

Lt. Matthew Carpenter, a spokesperson for the San Diego County Sheriff’s office, said the search operation began around 1 a.m. early Wednesday morning.

He could not identify how many Marines were on board, but several reports indicated five Marines were on the unidentified military helicopter.

Carpenter said around 10 a.m. that crews are still fanning Pine Valley in San Diego County to find the Marines, who were with Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. The Hill has reached out to the military base for comment.

Pine Valley is located in the Cuyamaca Mountains just east of San Diego in Southern California.

Carpenter described the search area as “very mountainy” and said weather was also complicating the efforts. Police are not flying helicopters but are sending ground teams out to search for the missing marines, he said.

The search team includes a multi-agency effort, with border patrol and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection also assisting in the operation.

Heavy winter storms have been battering California, including San Diego County.

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar is home to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing in San Diego.

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