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Old 04-03-2019, 04:00 PM
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Arrow Update: Marines identify two pilots killed in AH-1Z Viper helicopter crash

Marines identify two pilots killed in AH-1Z Viper helicopter crash
By: Shawn Snow / Marine Times 4-3-19

Update: Photo link:
An AH-1Z with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA) 369, Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), takes off during a training exercise at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC) Twentynine Palms, Calif., Feb. 15. (Lance Cpl. Julian Elliott-Drouin/Marine Corps)

The Marine Corps has identified two Marine pilots killed in the Saturday AH-1Z Viper helicopter crash at the Yuma, Arizona, air station.

Maj. Matthew M. Wiegand, 34, of Ambler, Pennsylvania, and Capt. Travis W. Brannon, 30, of Nashville, Tennessee, lost their lives in the Viper crash while conducting routine training during the semi-annual Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course at the sprawling Yuma air station, the Corps said in a command release.

“We join the families of Maj. Wiegand and Capt. Brannon in mourning the loss of a loved one,” Col. Kelvin W. Gallman, commanding officer of Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One, said in the command release.

“Our most valued assets are the individual Marines and our primary focus is supporting the families during this difficult time.”

Photo link:
Capt. Travis Brannon, of Nashville, Tenn. (Marine Corps)

Wiegand joined the Corps in 2008 and was assigned to Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One. He had previously deployed to Okinawa, Japan, as part of the Corps’ Unit Deployment Program.

He was qualified with both the AH-1W Super Cobra and AH-1Z Viper. The Viper is a replacement to the Corps’ legacy AH-1W fleet.

Brannon was a pilot assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA) 367, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing out of Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, according to details in the command release.

Brannon was in Yuma participating in Weapons and Tactics Instructor course 2-19, according to the release.

He had previous deployment experience in support of the Marine Rotational Force Darwin, Australia.

“It is a somber day for the entire Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command (MAGTFTC) as we mourn this tremendous loss. Our thoughts and prayers remain with their families and loved ones during this extremely difficult time,” Brig. Gen. Roger B. Turner Jr., commanding general, MAGTFTC, Twentynine Palms, California, said in the command release.

The incident is currently under investigation.

About the writer: Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.


Personal note: Condolences to the Family & Friends of these two Marines.

From all the members of the web site


O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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