A Marine Corps KC-130T transport aircraft crashed Monday night in Mississippi, killing all 16 service members on board.

The Lockheed Martin [LMT]-built aircraft took off from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., and was meant to transport personnel and equipment to Naval Air Field El Centro, Calif. One Navy Corpsman and 15 Marines made up the crew and passengers.

C-130. Photo: Air Force.
C-130. Photo: Air Force.

Six of the Marines and the Navy sailor were from Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command. They were traveling with their associated equipment for routine small unit pre-deployment training at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz. All seven were from the Camp Lejeune-based 2d Marine Raider Battalion.

The aircraft was assigned to Marine Aerial Refueling and Transport Squadron (VMGR) 452, Marine Air Group-49, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Forces Reserve.  

“On behalf of the entire Marine Corps, I want to express my deepest condolences to the families of those killed in the aircraft mishap yesterday afternoon in Mississippi,” Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller, said in a statement. “Please keep the families of our 16 fallen service members in your thoughts and prayers. Our focus remains on notifying and supporting the families while we conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of this tragedy.”

Equipment on board included various small arms ammunition and personal weapons, according to a statement from the Marine Corps. An Explosive Ordnance Disposal team was dispatched to the scene as a precaution in the interest of safety.

The identities of the personnel whose lives were lost in the accident are being withheld to allow for notification of family members.

The accident remains under investigation.