Marine in helicopter unit dies in ‘routine’ operations in California

by Vern Evans

A Marine from a helicopter training squadron died Tuesday during “routine military operations” in California, according to the Marine Corps.

The Marine was part of Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, according to a news release Wednesday from the aircraft wing. The Marine died at approximately 5 p.m. Tuesday.

“The incident is under investigation,” 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing said in the release. “The identity of the deceased Marine will not be released until at least 24 hours after next-of-kin notification is complete.”

The Marine’s squadron, which is based at Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, California, trains pilots to fly AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Venom helicopters.

The Marine is the second to die during training in a week.

On Thursday, Sgt. Colin Arslanbas, a reconnaissance Marine assigned to the Maritime Special Purpose Force, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, died after being involved in a parachute mishap in North Carolina.

Irene Loewenson is a staff reporter for Marine Corps Times. She joined Military Times as an editorial fellow in August 2022. She is a graduate of Williams College, where she was the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper.

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