The search for a helicopter from Camp Pendleton carrying six Marines and two Nepalese soldiers missing in Nepal will enter its third day Friday, military officials said.
The Marine helicopter was on a disaster relief mission in a rugged, mountainous area near Charikot on Tuesday when it disappeared without sending any message indicating trouble.
The search for the UH-1Y Huey involves U.S., Indian and Nepalese aircraft. Also assisting are Napalese ground troops, a special-forces platoon and a battalion-sized unit, officials said.
"This is a huge expanse of terrain, these are the foothills of the Himalayas," Marine Brig. Gen. Paul Kennedy told Fox News.
The missing Huey is from Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469 at Camp Pendleton. The squadron was in the Philippines on a training mission when it was directed to Nepal for the relief effort.
Two Hueys that have been part of the search are being replaced for routine maintenance, according to military officials.
To replace the two, a Huey also from Squadron 469 is set to arrived in Nepal on Friday. Another Huey from Squadron 269, based at Marine Air Station New River in Jacksonville, N.C., is set to arrive on Saturday.
The missing Huey was delivering supplies to stranded villagers. So far, Marine Huey and Osprey aircraft have delivered 174,706 pounds of relief supplies, including blankets, food, water, medical materials, and shelter kits, officials said.