Three US Marines have been killed and several others seriously injured after an Osprey aircraft crashed during a military exercise in Australia.
Of the 23 sailors on board the MV-22B Osprey, 3 died and 5 were taken to Royal Darwin Hospital in critical condition, Marine Rotational Force – Darwin said in a statement on Sunday.
The incident took place at Melville Island around 9:30am local time.
“The Marines on board were flying in support of the Exercise Predators run. Rescue efforts are underway,” the statement said, adding, “The cause of the incident is under investigation.”
Earlier, Northern Province Chief Minister Natasha Files said some of the other marines were being treated at the scene.
“We’re working incredibly hard and fast to make sure we can get people to treatment,” Files said.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin offered his condolences to the families of the dead and injured.
“These Marines served our country with courage and pride, and my thoughts and prayers are with their families today, the other troops injured in the crash and the entire USMC family,” he said. On X, formerly known as Twitter.
After an incident like this, it’s common for officials to ground an air force and declare an operational standstill during a crash investigation, said the CNN military analyst and retired U.S. Air Force colonel. Cedric Leighton said Sunday on “CNN This.” morning.”
Leighton said it was too soon to say whether the crash was caused by mechanical failure or some other issue.
Australia’s Northern Territory Police Commissioner Michael Murphy said two US Marine Osprey aircraft took off from Darwin and flew towards the Tiwi Islands, about 80 kilometers away, on Sunday morning. A plane crashes on Melville Island.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Richard Marles offered their condolences in a joint statement.
“Australian and American workers have stood shoulder to shoulder for more than a century. Our alliance is built on these lasting connections and our shared values,” said Albanese and Marles.
Leighton said joint military exercises such as these are meant to improve communication and coordination between partners.
“There’s a lot of coordination with these exercises,” he said. “Australians are great partners, and those exercises are invaluable in providing security in the Pacific region.”
This is the latest Fatal crash involving Osprey aircraftOver the years there have been many reported accidents involving the Osprey military aircraft.
In 2022, five US Marines died when an MV-22B Osprey aircraft crashed during a training mission near Glamis, California. That same year four US service members were killed when their Osprey crashed during a NATO exercise in Norway.
The incident took place only after a month Four Australian airmen were killed The MRH-90 Taipan helicopter crashed into the sea near Hamilton Island off Australia’s east coast as part of a joint exercise with the United States.
In general, the Osprey is safe to fly, Leighton said, but since its launch in the 1980s, the plane has had a history of mechanical and operational problems.
According to a CNN report and US Department of Defense press releases, previous Osprey crashes include:
July 20, 1992: Seven people were killed during the test when the Osprey crashed in Virginia.
April 8, 2000: 19 Marines killed in training accident in Arizona The crash was attributed to pilot error, with investigators concluding that the pilot attempted to land too fast and at too steep an angle, resulting in a loss of lift.
December 11, 2000: An Osprey crashes in North Carolina, killing four Marines. After the crash, problems with the hydraulic component and a software glitch in the plane’s computer system were blamed.
April 8, 2010: A US Air Force Osprey has crashed in southern Afghanistan, killing three US service members and a civilian employee.
April 11, 2012: Osprey crash kills two US soldiers in Morocco
June 13, 2012: An Air Force CV-22 Osprey crashed during a routine training mission north of Navarre, Florida, injuring five.
May 17, 2015: A Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey crashes at Bellows Training Ground in Oahu, Hawaii, killing two Marines.
American osprey falls into ocean off Okinawa
December 13, 2016: An MV-22B Osprey lands in shallow water off Okinawa, Japan, injuring two.
August 5, 2017: MV-22B Osprey aircraft crashes off Australian coast, killing three Marines
September 28, 2017: A Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey has crashed in Syria, injuring two soldiers.
March 18, 2022: Four US service members were killed when the MV-22 Osprey they were traveling in crashed during a NATO exercise in Norway.
June 8, 2022: Five US Marines died when an MV-22 Osprey crashed during a training mission near Glamis, California on Wednesday.