SAN DIEGO (KSWB) — A U.S. Marine who was killed in a jet crash near Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Thursday has been identified.
Maj. Andrew ‘Simple Jack’ Mettler — who was assigned to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing’s Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron — was piloting the F/A-18 Hornet that went down in a remote area east of Interstate 15. The news was released by 1st Lt. Hudson Sadler with 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, whose headquarters is at Cherry Point.
Mettler’s squadron was participating in Service Level Training Exercise 5-23 at the time of the incident, U.S. Marine Corps officials confirmed. Officials from the base confirmed a F/A-18D Hornet went down around 11:54 p.m. in a remote area east of Interstate 15. The crash site was reported to be on government property.
“I am deeply saddened to share the loss of Maj. Andrew ‘Simple Jack’ Mettler, a fellow Marine aviator who was honing his craft as a Hornet pilot and leader in his squadron, the Fighting Bengals,” said 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW) Commanding General Maj. Gen. Scott Benedict. “I had the great honor of flying in an F/A-18D with ‘Simple Jack’ and will always remember his skill piloting the Hornet and his wry smile. It is with great humility that I offer my deepest condolences to the family, loved ones, and friends of Maj. Andrew Mettler.”
Mettler’s decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with gold star in lieu of second award, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with gold star in lieu of second award, Navy Unit Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with four bronze stars in lieu of 5th award.
“As 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, we mourn the loss of one of our brothers who was devoted to the Marine Corps mission, and it is our duty to continue forward in a manner that would reflect his devotion. Maj. Mettler’s legacy will remain with every Marine, Sailor and civilian that he served with, and we have the obligation to continue to uphold the values that he stood for. He will be deeply missed within the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing and among his brothers and sisters at the Fighting Bengals,” General Maj. Gen. Benedict continued.
An investigation into the crash remains ongoing.