A United States MV-22B Osprey aircraft crashed off the northern coast of Australia with 23 Marines on board, resulting in the death of three US Marines.
The incident occurred on Sunday morning, with Australia’s defense ministry stating that it took place during the annual Predator Run exercises involving 2,500 troops from Australia, the United States, East Timor, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
A defense aircraft crashed over the Tiwi Islands off the Northern Territory coast. The crash led to the loss of three United States Marines’ lives and left at least five more injured. Reportedly, Australian military personnel were not involved in the crash.
The official Marine Rotational Force Darwin statement highlights that the cause of the incident is currently under investigation, and recovery efforts are still underway.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese described the occurrence as “tragic,” emphasizing, “Our focus as a government and as a department of defense is very much on incident response and on making sure that every support and assistance is given at this difficult time,” he stated.
This incident marks the second helicopter incident this month, following the Australian Taipan helicopter crash off the north Queensland coast earlier in the month.
This is not the first Osprey crash to occur during international maneuvers. In March of the previous year, a US Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey, carrying four personnel, crashed in Norway while participating in the NATO exercise Cold Response 2022.