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Missing military helicopter found, search continues for five Marines on board

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(NEW YORK) — A missing military helicopter was found in Southern California Wednesday morning, but a search and rescue operation continues for five missing Marines on board, the U.S. Marine Corps said.

The CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter was “reported overdue” to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Tuesday night. The helicopter departed from Creech Air Force Base near Las Vegas and was en route to Miramar, in the San Diego area.

The Marines asked for help from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and Civil Air Patrol.

The sheriff’s department said it received a call at 1:50 a.m. and sent its own helicopter to search, but the helicopter wasn’t able to reach the area due to the atmospheric river storm hitting the region. The sheriff’s department said it then sent off-road vehicles to navigate the rough terrain.

The Marines said the helicopter was discovered at 9:08 a.m. Wednesday.

Rescue efforts are ongoing.

President Joe Biden has been briefed on the situation, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

“We’re watching this closely,” White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said. “Our thoughts are for the best.”

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