Marines searching for service members after Osprey mishap off Australian coast

ATLANTIC OCEAN Sailors aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde give an MV-22 Osprey flight directions during touch and go training. Sailors assigned to Mesa Verde and Marines assigned to the 22n

The U.S. Marine Corps said it is conducting a search-and-rescue operation for three service members who were aboard an Osprey involved in what the military called a "mishap" off the east coast of Australia on Saturday.

The unit was in Australia as part of a regularly scheduled deployment. The Osprey was in Australia for a joint training exercise between the United States and Australia that ended July 25.

The US Marine Corps said in a statement small boats and aircraft were involved in the search. No Australian Defence Force personnel were aboard the helicopter at the time of the crash.

Australian media reported that two Marines were missing and 22 were rescued in the incident.

In a statement, III Marine Expeditionary Force, said that following a "mishap", 23 out of 26 personnel aboard had been rescued and that a search and rescue mission was underway for the remaining three.

'I have offered our support to the USA following the MV-22 incident today and confirm no ADF personnel were on board, ' Defence Minister Marise Payne tweeted.

The United States and Australia have a long history of military partnership, including cooperation in the coalition during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has also been made aware of the operation in Shoalwater Bay.

The Osprey is created to take off like a helicopter and rotate its propellers to fly like a plane.

The Marine Corps did not say what caused the crash but indicated it is under investigation.

The publication reports the helicopter was attempting to land on the U.S.S Ronald Reagan when the incident occurred.

In 2015, a US Osprey crashed during a training exercise in Hawaii, killing two Marines.



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