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Published: Sun, August 06, 2017
Medical | By Garry George

USA searching for 3 missing Marines after aircraft mishap off Australia

USA searching for 3 missing Marines after aircraft mishap off Australia

US Marines based in Japan said "search and rescue operations continue for three U.S. Marines that were aboard an MV-22 Osprey involved in a mishap off of the east coast of Australia".

Bonhomme Richard, part of a combined U.S. -Australia-New Zealand expeditionary strike group, is undergoing a series of scenarios that will increase naval proficiencies in operating against blue-water adversarial threats and in its primary mission of launching Marine forces ashore in the littorals.

This is a breaking story. Four Bell-Boeing MV-22 Osprey aircraft arrived in Australia at the end of April from the U.S. Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 268.

"Our thoughts are with the crew and families affected", she said.

A search and rescue effort was under way last night, with boats and warships searching for the missing Marines.

The plane, an MV-22 Osprey, was carrying 26 personnel including crew when it crashed about 4pm on Saturday off the central Queensland coast at Shoalwater Bay.

U.S. military forces have been operating in the area as part of a joint training exercise called Talisman Sabre.

Twenty-three other people aboard the MV-22 Osprey have been rescued.

The US Marine Corps has not called on assistance from the Australian government and are confident they can conduct the rescue independently.

"On behalf of all Queenslanders, our prayers are with those U.S. military personnel involved in the incident", she said in a statement.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported the aircraft had been in Queensland as part of a joint United States and Australian training exercise that ended July 25.

"The circumstances of the mishap are now under investigation".

A spokesman for Queensland Ambulance, Michael Augustus, said one person had been taken to Rockhampton hospital, but he gave no further details of the circumstances and no details of the person's condition.

In December 2016, the U.S. grounded its fleet of the aircraft in Japan, after one crash-landed off Okinawa.

The U.S. plans to fly Ospreys at night as part of an upcoming joint exercise with the GSDF in Hokkaido between Thursday and August 28.

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