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Search Suspended for 3 Marines Missing After MV-22 Crash

An MV-22B Osprey assigned to the ìDragonsî of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 265 (Reinforced) take off from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) during Talisman Saber 17 on July 20, 2017. US Navy Photo

The search for three Marines missing after an MV-22 crash off of Australia has been suspended, according to a late Saturday statement from III Marine Expeditionary Force.

“On Aug. 6 at around 3:00 a.m. local time, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps suspended search and rescue operations for three Marines involved in the Aug. 5 MV-22 Osprey mishap off the east coast of Australia. Operations have now shifted to recovery efforts,” read the statement.
“The transition comes after teams led continuous sustained search efforts supported by aircraft and ships. As the sea state permits, recovery efforts will be conducted to further search, assess and survey the area, in coordination and with assistance from the Australian Defence Force. Recovery and salvage operations can take several months to complete, but can be extended based on several environmental factors.”

Families of the missing Marines, now presumed lost at sea, have been notified.

The Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit led the search with assistance from the Australian Defence Forces.

The MV-22 was assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (Reinforced), 31st MEU, was carrying 26 – five crew and 21 passengers — and was headed to the amphibious warship USS Green Bay (LPD-20) when the mishap occurred, according to an NBC News report. The result of the crash left the flight deck of Green Bay – at least temporarily — unusable.

Australian Minister of Defence Marise Payne said in a statement that no Australian forces were aboard.

The Okinawa, Japan-based 31st MEU and the Bonhomme Richard ESG have been operating off of Australia for the last several weeks as part of the Talisman Saber exercise in the Coral Sea.

The incident is now under investigation.

USS Green Bay (LPD-20) steams in formation as part of a multi-ship group sail during Talisman Saber 17 on July 22, 2017. US Navy Photo

The following is the complete statement from III MEF.

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP BUTLER, Okinawa, Japan – On Aug. 6 at around 3:00 a.m.local time, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps suspended search and rescue operations for three Marines involved in the Aug. 5 MV-22 Osprey mishap off the east coast of Australia. Operations have now shifted to recovery efforts. The next-of-kin for the three missing Marines have been notified.

The transition comes after teams led continuous sustained search efforts supported by aircraft and ships. As the sea state permits, recovery efforts will be conducted to further search, assess and survey the area, in coordination and with assistance from the Australian Defence Force. Recovery and salvage operations can take several months to complete, but can be extended based on several environmental factors.

The circumstances of the mishap are currently under investigation, and there is no additional information available at this time.

  • 1coolguy

    Mishap? Seems like a PC way to say “crash”. It would have been helpful to know whether this was an open-water crash, one nearby the ship or on teh ship itself. Very curious none of this information was supplied, or did I miss it?

    • HappyEmeritus

      Mishap is the term used in all incident investigation. The cover up of what happened is as usual,solid. We will learn nothing until the services involved figure out how to blame ’tis o some low level person so nothing needs to change about this turkey. From Australian sources it appears there was a hard landing on the Green Bay and the aircraft toppled into the water. So there were rescue craft standing by.

      • NavySubNuke

        LOL. Hey don’t forget to put another wrap of tinfoil on your head before bed — with you posting subversive thoughts like this it is only a matter of time before the MIC targets you for death and tries to scramble your brains in your sleep with a super secret ray gun.

    • NavySubNuke

      It is always a mishap while they get it sorted out.
      How exactly would that information have been helpful to you?

  • gamersglory

    The MV-22 has a horrible safety record going all the way back to testing. That thing never should have been made

  • old guy

    It is outrageous that this HUNK-A-JUNK is still operational(?) A tribute to Bell & Boeig lobbyists. I will repeat. In the early 1990s 3 Marine commandants, 2 COMNAVAIRs and 2 OPNAV flags tried to deep 6 this Congressionally PORKED idiocy. In other posts I have presented parts of my 1992 memo, citing technical and fiscal shortcomings of this now 20 megabuck R&D, 85 meg per copy, 24 passenger disaster. I hope SEC’Y Spencer kills it and provides the REAL answer for its mission!