On Tuesday night at the Eglin Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle, an army helicopter was carrying out a night training exercise. The helicopter crashed and there are currently seven marines, as well as four soldiers, that are missing. The area at the time of the crash was said to be experiencing severe fog, which was still present on Wednesday morning, slightly hindering the search for the missing people.
The helicopter was first reported missing at around 8:30 on Tuesday night, and the debris from it was found soon after by search and rescue teams at about 2am on Wednesday morning. The army helicopter had taken off from an airport not too far away in Destin, and met up with other aircrafts for the training exercise. It was a routine training mission for the army, and the reason for the crash is likely due to the fog at the time.
The helicopter went down on an isolated stretch of beach in between Destin and Pensacola. The beach has been owned and tightly controlled by the military since the first World War, and is an area where different military branches and special units can come to practice, not only in the water but also on the beach and in the bay. The military has been known to chase off any civilians and private vendors in the area that rent water skis or paddle boards without permission. A common training exercise carried out by the military is to drop trainees over the water, using helicopters or boats, and then leave them to find their own way back to land.
The names of the missing soldiers and marines have not yet officially been released, as officials are waiting until all of the next of kin have been contacted and notified of the crash.