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Military identifies Virginia Marine killed in helicopter training exercise

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CAMP LEJEUNE, North Carolina — The Marine killed when a U.S. Marines helicopter had a hard landing Wednesday night at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina was identified Friday as Staff Sergeant Jonathan Lewis, 31, of Warrenton, Virginia.

SSgt. Lewis was assigned to Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST), Company B, Marine Corps Security Force Regiment at Naval Weapons Station Yorktown.

He was in the CH-53E helicopter when it made the hard landing at about 9 p.m. during a training exercise, the Marine Corps said. Seven service members were treated at a hospital at Camp Lejeune; one was admitted and was in stable condition, while the others were scheduled for release, according to the Marine Corps. Three others were taken to a different hospital and were in stable condition, the service said.

A hard landing is when an aircraft impacts the ground with a greater vertical speed and force than a normal landing, typically after a rapid or steep descent, a military spokesman said.

“We want to ensure the Marines and family members of the units involved in the mishap have easy access to any help they may need after this tragic event,” Capt. Kendra Motz, deputy director of II MEF Public Affairs, said.

This is a developing story.