A pilot and a crew chief are among three Marines presumed dead after their MV-22 Osprey crashed Saturday off the coast of Australia during a training exercise, according to family members of the Marines' whose bodies are still missing.
Let us hope and pray that the USA military and its allies in the Australian Navy can recover the Osprey and its missing Marines soon.
Defence Minister Marise Payne said a survey ship found the submerged MV-22 Osprey in Shoalwater Bay shortly after starting its search.
The MV-22 Osprey is a tilt-rotor aircraft similar to a conventional plane but has helicopter-like rotor blades which allow it to take off vertically, without a runway.
The aircraft was in Australia for the Talisman Sabre joint military exercise held by the USA and Australia in Shoalwater Bay.
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"The Australian Government remains prepared to offer further support as required and our [Australian Defence Force] remains at short notice readiness to support any further requests", Payne said.
"We thank the Australian Defense Force [and] in particular, the crew of the HMAS Melville for their assistance in the search and recovery effort", Davis said.
Lt Cross' brother Ryan Cross on Monday said his younger sibling had the "highest moral character" and was "devoted" to the Marine Corps. The biennial exercise involved some 30,000 troops and 200 aircraft. They have been involved in a series of crashes in recent years. Rescue efforts for the missing Marines were called off on Sunday and their next of kin have been notified.
The Marines had just wrapped up a major exercise with Australian forces and on Saturday were conducting training of their own when the accident happened. In May 2015, a U.S. Osprey made a hard-landing in Hawaii, resulting in the deaths of two Marines.
Ospreys were grounded in Japan last December after pilots ditched one in shallow water just off Camp Schwab in northern Okinawa. Their Osprey aircraft crashed into the sea, off the coast of Australia, while trying to land.