Marine killed in Camp Lejeune training exercise identified

Bywith the Associated Press via WPVI logo
Friday, September 4, 2015
The Marines held a news conference Friday morning at Camp Lejeune
The Marines held a news conference Friday morning at Camp Lejeune

CAMP LEJEUNE (WPVI) -- The Marines said a member of the Corps killed during a helicopter ropes training exercise was a staff sergeant with an anti-terrorism fleet security team based in the Norfolk, Virginia, area.

Col. Jeffrey Kenney said Marines from Virginia and North Carolina were performing the training on Wednesday at Camp Lejeune when the accident occurred.

Staff Sgt. Jonathan Lewis, 31, was a native of Warrenton, Virginia. Lewis was inside the helicopter when he was killed, Kenney said.

The training allows them to use repelling and fast ropes techniques to get into difficult terrain where aircraft may not be able to land, Kenney said.

The Marines said two injured service members remain hospitalized Friday, while nine have been treated and released.

According to ABCNews, the accident marks the fifth incident this year, and the 18th Marine death, involving a helicopter/tilt rotator accident.

In January, two service members were killed in Southern California during a training accident.

On March 10, seven Marines, also based out of Camp Lejeune, were killed in a helicopter crash off the Florida Panhandle.

Six Marines were killed in a helicopter crash on May 12 during rescue operations following the earthquake in Nepal, and two other were killed five days later in an Osprey aircraft crash in Hawaii.