MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
A CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter belonging to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 464, Marine Aircraft Group 29, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing experienced a hard landing while conducting training aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., at approximately 9 p.m. Sept. 2, 2015, resulting in one fatality and 11 injured U.S. Marines.
According to Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, one Marine was transferred there via air MEDEVAC and was pronounced dead at the hospital on 2 Sept. Of the injured Marines, two remain in stable condition while the other nine have been discharged. Seven Marines were initially treated at NHCL; six have been evaluated and released while one remains at the hospital in stable condition. Additionally, one Marine is in stable condition after being transferred to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, N.C. and is awaiting a minor procedure.
A helicopter with HMH-464 made a hard landing during Helicopter Ropes Suspension Techniques (HRST) training in a landing zone at Stone Bay, a Camp Lejeune satellite training area. This type of training provides Marines with the ability to conduct helicopter insertions and extractions where helicopter landings are impractical. Approximately twenty Marines were participating in the training, which requires Marines to exit the back of the aircraft via a suspended rope while the helicopter hovers above a landing zone.
A hard landing is when an aircraft impacts the ground with a greater vertical speed and force than a normal landing, typically after a rapid or steep descent.
“The loss of a Marine or Sailor affects us all. My heartfelt condolences go out to the families and friends of our deceased Marine," said Maj. Gen. William Beydler, commanding general of II Marine Expeditionary Force. "While accidents like this are disturbing to the members of our Corps, we remain resilient and faithful to one another as we respond to this tragedy."
The identity of our deceased Marine will be withheld until 24 hours after next of kin has been notified. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.
The incident is under investigation and no additional details are available at this time.