U.S. training accident kills seven Marines
A Marine Corps official says the seven Marines killed in Nevada died after a 60mm mortar exploded unexpectedly during a training accident, March 18.
The Marines immediately issued an indefinite moratorium on firing of all such mortars worldwide until an investigation clears as safe the type of weapon and ammunition in the tragedy. Several other Marines were hurt.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was not immediately clear whether the mortar exploded prematurely inside its firing tube or whether more than a single round exploded. The official was not authorized to speak to a reporter about the accident.
The 60mm mortar is a weapon that traditionally requires three to four Marines to operate, but it’s common during training for others to observe nearby. AP
Marine Corps helicopters in Arizona for training
A half-dozen large Marine Corps helicopters from California are in Arizona on a training mission.
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson says the CH-53E Super Stallions will conduct desert mountainous terrain training at military ranges in southern Arizona.
The training is in preparation for oversea deployment and will run through March 27.
The helicopters are from Marine Heavylift Helicopter Squadron 465 out of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. AP