Wreckage of Bell Helicopter MV-22 Osprey found off Australia

Randolph Lopez
August 8, 2017

THE Australian Government has thrown its support behind the US Marine Corps as they begin the grim process of recovering three Marines feared killed in an MV-22 Osprey crash off the Capricorn Coast on Saturday afternoon.

Two of the three missing Marines have been identified by family members as Lt. Banjamin Robert Cross from ME and Corporal Nathan Ordwa from Kansas.

In a statement, Australia's Defense Minister said a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) survey ship located the submerged aircraft on Monday, "shortly after commencing survey operations in the area".

The tilt-rotor Osprey, which takes off and lands like a helicopter but can cruise like a standard airplane, has a checkered safety record.

Twenty-three of the 26 military personnel had been rescued, but three U.S. Marines are still missing.

The aircraft was in Australia for a joint military training exercise held by the USA and Australia last month.

Twenty-three people aboard the MV-22 Osprey were rescued, but three Marines remained missing.

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The commanding general of the III Marine Expeditionary Force, Lieutenant General Lawrence Nicholson, thanked the Australian Defence Force for their help in the recovery efforts.

The deployment of Ospreys in Japan is unpopular with local residents, and Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera has asked the United States to ground its Japan-based fleet until the cause of this crash is known. The exercises were a followup to joint military training between USA and Australian forces that wrapped up last week.

Australian authorities said no Australian personnel were on board.

"Operations have now shifted to recovery efforts", the Marines said in a news release.

"Operations have now shifted to recovery efforts".

The Osprey was part of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, which is based in Okinawa, Japan.

"The US military is working with the ADF and other Australian agencies to conduct thorough assessments and planning prior to the formal commencement of any salvage or recovery". The incident is under investigation, and it is unclear why the Osprey crashed, though landing and taking off from ships at sea is often hard and inherently risky.

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