Four Marines were killed following the crash of an MV-22B Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft taking part in Operation Cold Response in Norway.
A USMC MV-22B Osprey, belonging to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 261 (VMM-261) “Raging Bulls” crashed in Norway during Exercise COLD RESPONSE 22 on Friday, Mar. 18, 2022. Flying as “GHOST 31”, the tilt-rotor aircraft was involved in a training mission in Nordland County; according to the Norwegian Armed Forces, it was supposed to proceed north, to Bodø, where it was scheduled to land just before 18:00LT.
The aircraft crashed in Gråtådalen in Beiarn, south of Bodø. A search and rescue mission was launched by the Norwegian authorities and at 01.30AM LT on Saturday night, the police arrived at the crash site.
The police in Nordland County confirmed Saturday morning that the crew of four were killed in the incident. The Norwegian police, supported by a Bell 412 helicopter, immediately launched an investigation and notified the Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN). The weather at the crash site was reported to be poor.
The bodies of the four crew members of GHOST 31 were retrieved from the accident site by a Sea King rescue helicopter from Royal Norwegian Air Force 330 Squadron. According to the Norwegian authorities, the deceased will remain in Bodø until transportation back to the U.S. is arranged.
The names of the four Marines were disclosed by Major General Michael Cederholm, Commanding General of 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, in a message to the families that was shared on social media:
Despite the incident, Cold Response goes ahead.
Cold Response is a Norwegian-led military exercise that started on Mar. 14 and is due to end on Apr. 1, 2022. Over 30,000 soldiers from 27 countries, as well as a number of civilian agencies are taking part in the exercise. The drills take place in south-eastern Norway, central Norway and the northern parts of the country where Norwegian forces train with U.S. and other allies to operate in the harsh weather of the Arctic Region, that is strategically important to both NATO and Russia. To that respect, it’s worth highlighting that the exercise is not related to the situation in Ukraine.
Dealing with the MV-22 Osprey, this was the first crash in 5 years. In 2017, the USMC tiltrotors were involved in three serious incidents in one year: on Jan. 29, 2017, an Osprey crash landed in Yemen during a special operations raid causing two injuries; on Aug. 5, 2017, 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, resulting in three confirmed dead and 23 personnel rescued; on Sept. 29, 2017, a U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey crashed in Syria, injuring two.
A big thank you to our reader Tor-Erik Labahå for the additional details he’s provided.