A training tragedy leads to the loss of lives. Seven U.S. Marines were killed when two helicopters collided during a training exercise Wednesday night.

FOX News Radio White House Correspondent Mike Majchrowitz reports from the West Wing:

The military trains to save lives in combat, but sometimes the training itself turns deadly.  And that's what happened last night.  Two Marine helicopters, a Cobra and a Huey, collided and all seven Marines on board were killed.

(Dooley) "They were conducting routine training.  It occured around 8:00 last night."

...3rd Marine Air Wing spokesperson First Lieutenant Maureen Dooley.   Six of the Marines were based at Camp Pendleton, the seventh at Yuma.  The remote training site where they were flying over is used to train Marines before they deploy to Afghanistan.  The terrain is said to be very similar.  No word yet on what caused the collision.

In Washington , Mike Majchrowitz, FOX News Radio.

The deaths of the seven Marines is sparking some debate about the safety of nighttime training missions.

FOX News Radio's Jessica Rosenthal spoke with people outside Camp Pendleton:

The seven Marines were split among a Cobra and a Huey helicopter involved in a training exercise, possibly a refueling exercise, in the southeastern desert of California.  This Marine outside Camp Pendleton, who declined to give her name, says she doesn't think nighttime training is such a great idea.

(Marine) "It's not safe.  I don't think a lot of people are thinking about the welfare of the Marines."

But Bill, who works at a military supply store here, disagrees.

(Bill) "It's ludacris, you have to have it because the bad guy doesn't always attack during the daytime."

A Gunnery Sergeant at the Yuma Air Station called it a standard training exercise and said, while safety is paramount, so is being prepared.

Outside Camp Pendleton, Jessica Rosenthal, FOX News Radio.

WATCH to learn more on the helicopter collision:


           Email            Embed