Search and rescue operations continue for the missing Marines.
An MV-22 Osprey assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (Reinforced), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit was involved in a mishap off of the east coast of Australia around 4:00 p.m. on Aug. 5, 2017. Twenty-three of 26 personnel aboard have been rescued. Research for the missing Marines is still underway.
The tilt-rotor aircraft involved in the mishap had launched from the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) and was conducting regularly scheduled operations when the aircraft entered the water.
According to the U.S. DoD, the ship’s small boats and aircraft immediately responded in the search and rescue efforts.
The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit has recently completed the biennial Exercise Talisman Saber 2017, off the coast of Queensland, Australia.
Featuring 21 warships, including the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group, and more than 200 joint aircraft, Talisman Saber 2017 was the seventh iteration of the exercise that focused on training a Combined Task Force of U.S. and Australian forces in a mid-intensity, high-end warfighting scenario, incorporating interagency participation, along with a command post exercise involving a transition between a 3 and 4-star Headquarters. U.S. Pacific Command units and Australian forces conducted live and virtual training exercises in multi domains on sea, land, air, cyber and throughout multiple training areas in and around Australia.
Another MV-22 Osprey was lost earlier this year: in the morning on Jan. 29, 2017, a U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey aircraft, called in to evacuate American soldiers injured in a fierce firefight with Al Qaeda militants in Yemen, crash landed at Al Bayda, injuring 1 service members.
The damaged Osprey was later destroyed by an air-strike by an F-16.