Aug 27, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Three U.S. Marines killed in aircraft crash in Australia

A Care Flight helicopter is seen on the tarmac of the Darwin International Airport in Darwin on August 27, 2023, as rescue work is in progress to transport those injured in the US Osprey military aircraft crash at a remote island north of Australia's mainland. Photo: David Gray/AFP via Getty Images

Three Marines have died following an aircraft crash off Australia's northern coast, officials said Sunday.

The big picture: The Marine Rotational Force - Darwin confirmed that its aircraft, U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey, crashed on Australia's Melville Island while transporting Marines as part of a regular exercise, according to a statement Sunday.

  • 23 passengers were inside the aircraft, according to officials.
  • Five of the passengers have been taken to the Royal Darwin Hospital and are in serious condition, officials said.
  • Officials said the Marines on the aircraft were flying in support of Exercise Predators Run, which is a "combined arms exercise" of multiple countries, including Australia and the U.S.
  • Officials said recovery efforts are ongoing and the cause of the crash is under investigation.

What they're saying: "Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with the three U.S. service personnel who lost their lives, those who have been injured, the rest of the crew and indeed the entire United States armed forces," Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles said in a joint statement Sunday.

  • Albanese and Marles said no Australian personnel were involved in the crash.
  • "Australian and U.S. personnel have stood shoulder to shoulder for more than a century. Our Alliance is built upon these enduring links and our shared values," Albanese and Marles added.
  • The two officials said the Australian Defence Force in the country's Northern Territory is providing support to the U.S.

Zoom out: This is the latest MV-22B Osprey crash since five Marines were killed last June in a training mission near Glamis, California.

  • And four Marines were killed in March 2022 after an MV-22B Osprey crash in Bodo, Norway, the Marine Corps Times reported.
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