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Nashville Marine killed in helicopter training exercise

Marine pilot in Arizona for training before crash
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Posted at 9:05 PM, Apr 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-02 16:07:37-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Marine pilot from Nashville died after a helicopter crash during routine training Saturday in Arizona.

Capt. Travis W. Brannon, 30, died in the crash at the MCAS training grounds in Yuma.

Capt. Brannon, along with Maj. Matthew M. Wiegand, 34, of Pennsyvlania were killed after the AH-1Z Viper helicopter they were aboard crashed.

"It is a somber day for the entire Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command (MAGTFTC) as we mourn this tremendous loss. Our thoughts and prayers remain with their families and loved ones during this extremely difficult time," said Brig. Gen. Roger B. Turner Jr., commanding general, MAGTFTC, Twentynine Palms, California.

Capt. Brannon was assigned to a Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron out of Hawaii. He was in Arizona attending a training course.

He served in Australia and received 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," said Col. Kelvin W. Gallman, commanding officer of MAWTS-1. "Our most valued assets are the individual Marines and our primary focus is supporting the families during this difficult time."

The cause of the crash is currently under investigation.

Nashville Mayor David Briley expressed his condolences, saying: "Today, Nashville's thoughts are with the family of Nashville native Capt. Travis W. Brannon, who lost his life in an accident while serving his country as a member of the U.S. Marines. Rest in peace."