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Marines and Soldiers identified in Black Hawk helicopter crash

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Marines and Soldiers identified in Black Hawk helicopter crash

Staff Sgt. Andrew C. Seif, a critical skills operator with 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command, was awarded the Silver Star Medal during a ceremony at Stone Bay aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., March 6, 2015, for his actions against the enemy in Badghis Province, Afghanistan.

3.12.15 Update: Two bodies still remain undiscovered in the helicopter crash off the coast of Florida. According to USA Today, the two remaining bodies are thought to be inside the aircraft. Heavy fog covered the area where the helicopter crashed at speeds so high it caused it to break apart. These Marine and Guardsman families have been notified as the recovered bodies were identified:

  • Marine Marcus Bawol, 27, of Warren, Mich.
  • Marine Trevor Blaylock of Lake Orion, Mich.
  • Marine Kerry Kemp of Port Washington, Wis.
  • Staff Sgt. Andrew Seif of Holland, Mich.
  • Pilot David Strother of Pineville, La.

SSgt Seif was recently awarded the Silver Star on March 6, 2015, the nation’s third highest medal for valor. Seif was awarded for his actions against the enemy in Badghis Province, Afghanistan, where he faced persistent enemy fire while rendering immediate aid to his mortally wounded teammate and completing their mission. He was also named USO’s Marine of the Year in 2013.

Once recovered, the chopper’s black box will be sent to the Army’s Combat Readiness Center at Fort Rucker, so that they can begin to investigate the crash. 


NAVARRE, Fla. (AP) — Divers have found the military helicopter that crashed in dense fog during a Florida training mission, killing seven elite Marines and four experienced soldiers. More bad weather Thursday delayed the recovery of bodies and the flight recorder from wreckage 25 feet deep.

The military’s response officially changed from rescue to recovery after divers inspected the shattered core of the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, said Col. Monte Cannon, vice-commander of the 96th Test Wing at Eglin Air Force Base.

“It was certainly a high-impact crash,” said Eglin Fire Chief Mark Giuliano, and “very, very, very dense fog” was complicating the response. There’s almost no visibility at the crash site, forcing search crews to move slowly in rough surf to avoid running into each other or wreckage, he said.

Dozens of airmen still walked the shores of Santa Rosa Sound, recovering pieces of clothing and bits of wreckage. The U.S. Coast Guard suspended it search Thursday afternoon, but will stay to advise the Army “as salvage operations focus on recovering the remaining fuselage and debris,” its statement said.                    May you all R.I.P.       Semper Fi          :salute:


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