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3 Marines killed in training exercise, more injured

 August 28, 2023

Three U.S. Marines were killed and several others injured during a training exercise in Australia when an MV-22B Osprey aircraft crashed.

The service members died in the midst of a training exercise on Melville Island, Australia, after an American MV-22B Osprey aircraft carrying the troops crashed, leaving several others, wounded according to officials.

The tiltrotor aircraft was carrying 23 U.S. Marines when it crashed at roughly 9:30 a.m. local time. Twenty Marines were injured in the crash, and five in serious condition were flown to a town 50 miles away for treatment, the Daily Wire reported.

Details of the incident

The Marine Rotational Force in Darwin (MRF-D) confirmed the crash in a press release.

At least one of the injured Marines underwent surgery at a hospital in Darwin, according to Natasha Fyles, the chief minister of Australia’s Northern Territory.

Recovery efforts were ongoing, and the cause of the crash was under investigation, according to the MRF-D press release.

There was a “significant fire in the vicinity of the crash site,” according to an audio recording of an American official’s report to Australian air traffic controllers following the incident, the AP reported.

Exercise Predators Run

The Osprey aircraft that crashed was part of a routine training exercise in support of Exercise Predators Run, a multi-nation military exercise comprised of the United States, Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and East Timor.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said:

Our focus as a government and as the department of defense is very much on incident response and on making sure that every support and assistance is given at this difficult time.

Roughly 2,500 people participated in Exercise Predators Run, including about 500 from the United States. The exercise was paused following the tragic incident.

In recent years, the United States and Australia have intensified their military collaboration response in the pacific to the growing assertiveness of China.

In a joint statement, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Defence Minister Richard Marles noted:

Australian and US personnel have stood shoulder to shoulder for more than a century. This incident is a reminder of the significance of the service undertaken by our personnel and those of our partner nations.

History of Osprey crashes

Though it’s unclear what caused the incident, this isn’t the first time the Osprey aircraft has been involved in a fatal crash.

Since 2012, there have been five fatal crashes involving Marine Osprey aircraft, according to the AP.

In June 2022, a mechanical failure related to the aircraft’s clutch caused the deaths of five Marines in California after the Osprey crashed, according to a crash investigation report.

Three months before that, four Marines were killed in an Osprey crash during a NATO exercise in Norway.

Conclusion

  • Three U.S. Marines were killed and several others injured during a training exercise on Melville Island, Australia, when an MV-22B Osprey aircraft crashed.
  • The aircraft was carrying 23 U.S. Marines, 20 of whom were injured, and five in serious condition were flown to a town 50 miles away for treatment.
  • The crash occurred during a routine training exercise in support of Exercise Predators Run, a multi-nation military exercise.
  • The cause of the crash is under investigation, and this is not the first time an Osprey aircraft has been involved in a fatal crash.