Search continues after US Marine aircraft 'mishap' off Australia

Aaron Brown
August 6, 2017

SYDNEY-A search-and-rescue effort is under way for three U.S. Marines after a Marine aircraft went down in waters off the east coast of Australia, U.S. Marine officials and the Australian defense minister said Saturday.

It was in Australia for the recent Talisman Sabre military exercise - a biennial event involving Australia and the USA, which involved more than 30,000 troops and 200 aircraft.

The search is being undertaken by ships, small boats and aircraft from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and Bonhomme Richard Strike Group. According to Australian authorities, the accident occurred in Shoalwater Bay and no Australian personnel were on board.

The helicopter - an MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor helicopter, which can operate from aircraft carriers - was in Australia to be part of the giant Australian-US military exercise Talisman Sabre, which has just concluded in Queensland. Reports said at least two service members were missing and feared dead.

Ospreys were believed to have been used in the recent Talisman Saber joint military exercises conducted by the US and Australia.

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26 people were aboard the aircraft, 23 of them have been rescued. The Osprey is a tiltrotor aircraft created to be able to take off and land vertically but fly much like a plane at greater speeds than conventional helicopters.

CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr has tweeted about the incident, reporting Marine Corps have announced a search and rescue after the MV-22 crash.

"I have briefed Prime Minister (Malcolm) Turnbull and spoken with Secretary Mattis this evening to offer Australia's support in any way that can be of assistance".

Osprey MV-22 helicopters are crewed by four people and can carry up to 24 troops seated or 32 when at maximum capacity.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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