Seven U.S. Marines were killed when two helicopters collided Wednesday night during training in a remote area of far southeastern Imperial County, near the California-Arizona border. Six were from Camp Pendleton and another was from the Marine air station at Yuma, Ariz.
There were no survivors aboard the aircraft, the Marines said. The cause of the crash is under investigation.
The mid-air crash between the AH-1W Cobra and a UH-1Y Huey was reported about 8 p.m. near sand dunes about a mile outside the military’s Yuma Training Range Complex, on federal Bureau of Land Management property.
It’s a dangerous business even in peacetime training, but you never quite grow used to this sort of thing.
Prayers for their families, if you’re the praying sort.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates on his nomination * for CENTCOM commander:
“General Mattis … is one of our military’s outstanding combat leaders and strategic thinkers,” Gates said, “bringing in an essential mix of experience, judgment and perspective to this important post.”
U.S. Marines in helicopters and Humvees flooded into a Taliban-held town in southern Afghanistan’s most violent province early Tuesday in the first major American operation in the region in years.
Several hundred Marines pushed into the town of Garmser in predawn light, stretching NATO’s presence into an area littered with poppy fields and classified as Taliban territory.
U.S. commanders say Taliban fighters have been expecting an assault and have been setting up improvised explosive devices in response.
The Corps has been after this mission for over a year, and the 24th MEU is well-blooded after three deployments to Iraq. Of course, their adversaries have been fighting among themselves for nearly 30 years – all the stupid ones are already dead.
“When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers.” — Oscar Wilde
** 11-20-20 Original link gone; replacement found – Ed.
Posted by lex, on February 24, 2008Does the jihadi it lands upon care what the gender was of the gunner that fired it?
A long article in the Washington Post Magazine today about women in combat, and what it all means. Very 1990’s.
Profiled is Marine Captain Katie Horner, AH-1 Super Cobra pilot and veteran of two pumps to Iraq. Asked about whether she felt any remorse at gunning down insurgents who had fired on Marine patrol on the ground, Capt Horner replies:
“My feeling is, they started it. They could have chosen to have gone about their day. But instead they shot at Marines.”
Gunny Gibson lost his entire leg after an Iraqi sniper fired a round through his knee in Ramadi in 2006 – May 16, 2006 – just 19 months ago. He is the first full leg amputee to be returned to the fight – redeployed as an active marine. This Gunny had been in the marines for 18 years – that is who he is. He said all he wanted to do was get back into the fight. He said returning to Iraq was his first step back to feeling like he was a marine again. He runs half marathons with his prosthetic and it was when he swam in a race from Alcatraz and ended up at the feet of General Mattis out in California. As he emerged from the water General Mattis asked him what he could do for him – he said, “Sir, send me back to Iraq.” It was the only way he said that he would feel whole again.
Where do we find such men?
BTW, the link has the Gunny’s email, if anyone wants to render proper honors.