Marine Corps helicopter crashes in Gulf of Aden; all rescued

BY Will Lester, Associated Press  September 1, 2014 at 6:20 PM EST
A CH-53E Super Stallion with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 163 (Reinforced), 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, takes off from the flight deck of the USS Comstock  Aug. 25. The 11th MEU and Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group are deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations as a sea-based, expeditionary crisis response force capable of conducting amphibious missions across the full range of military operations. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Melissa Wenger/Released)

A CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter, like this one pictured here on Aug. 27 on the flight deck of the USS Comstock, crashed Monday in the Gulf of Aden. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Melissa Wenger

WASHINGTON — A Marine Corps helicopter with 25 aboard crashed Monday in the Gulf of Aden, and all aboard were rescued, the Navy said.

The 17 Marines and eight Navy sailors were recovered and were on board the USS Mesa Verde, and some who sustained minor injuries were treated on the ship.

The CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crashed as it attempted to land on the ship, which has a big landing deck on the back. The Navy said the crash was not the result of hostile activity, but the aircraft was transferring troops back to the ship from training in nearby Djibouti.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered the USS Mesa Verde, an amphibious transport dock ship based at Norfolk, Virginia, into the Persian Gulf earlier this summer as concern grew over the Islamic State terrorist group’s advance on Iraq’s capital, Baghdad.

The ship transports and lands Marines and other troops, their equipment and supplies, aided by helicopters and vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.