Posted : Tuesday Jul 27, 2010
Two Marine helicopter pilots were killed last Thursday during combat operations in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, the Defense Department announced Monday.
Lt. Col. Mario D. Carazo, 41, of Springfield, Ohio, and Maj. James M. Weis, 37, of Toms River, N.J., were AH-1W Super Cobra pilots assigned to Marine Light-Attack Helicopter Squadron 369, said Maj. Jay Delarosa, a wing spokesman at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station in San Diego. The squadron is part of Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, and is based out of Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Military officials have not released details about the incident or said what brought down the helicopter. “The incident occurred as they were engaging in combat,” Delarosa said.
NATO officials that day reported that two service members were killed in a helicopter crash near Lashkar Gah, Helmand’s provincial capital, and the crash was under investigation.
Carazo, who was commissioned in 1991, deployed to Iraq in 2006 and 2008, Delarosa said. His military awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Philippine Presidential Unit Citation and Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation.
Weis was commissioned in 1996 and deployed to Iraq from 2005-06. His awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Air Medal (Individual Action), Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Air Medal (Strike/Flight), Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation and Presidential Unit Citation-Navy.