2 Marines killed in a training accident Saturday had served at Camp Pendleton
Two Marine pilots killed in an AH-1Z Viper crash on Saturday night, March 30, both had served at Camp Pendleton.
The pilots, Maj. Matthew M. Wiegand, 34, of Ambler, Penn., and Capt. Travis W. Brannon, 30, of Nashville, Tenn., were doing routine training during the Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course hosted by Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, in Arizona.
The helicopter crash occurred at the base’s training grounds at 8:45 p.m. It remains under investigation.
“It is a somber day for the entire Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command as we mourn this tremendous loss,” said Brig. Gen. Roger B. Turner Jr., commanding general of the task force training command at Twentynine Palms. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with their families and loved ones during this extremely difficult time.”
Wiegand joined the Marine Corps in 2008. He served at Camp Pendleton and Naval Air Station Pensacola, in Florida, before being assigned to Yuma. His decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with gold star.
Brannon, 30, served at Naval Air Station Pensacola, in Florida, as well as Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, in Hawaii. His decorations include the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
“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 a statement. “Our most valued assets are the individual Marines and our primary focus is supporting the families during this difficult time.”