Media Release #17-015: AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE ASSISTS IN OSPREY RECOVERY
| III Marine Expeditionary Force | August 7, 2017
31st Marine Expeditionary Unit MV-22B Osprey Mishap UPDATE
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP BUTLER, Okinawa, Japan - 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 around 4:00 p.m. Aug. 5. Twenty-three of 26 personnel aboard have been rescued. The MV-22 was assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (Reinforced), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. The 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. The ship's small boats and aircraft immediately responded in the search and rescue efforts. The 31st MEU is currently operating with the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group as part of a regularly-scheduled deployment in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
The circumstances of the mishap are currently under investigation. There is no additional information available at this time. Media can contact III Marine Expeditionary Force public affairs at IIIMEFPAO@usmc.mil.
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP BUTLER, Okinawa, Japan - The Royal Australian Navy Clearance Diving team completed embark today aboard HMAS Melville to commence recovery operations near the site where an MV-22 Osprey entered the water on Aug. 5. Dive team members finalized planning in conjunction with the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy aboard USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6). The dive team plans to commence recovery operations using a remote operating vehicle this evening. The location of the MV-22 was detected on Aug. 6 by Melville using its hydrographic capabilities.
"I want to thank the Australian Defence Force, and the crew of the HMAS Melville in particular, for their assistance in the search and recovery effort of our MV-22 that went down off the coast of Australia," said LtGen Lawrence Nicholson, Commanding General, III Marine Expeditionary Force. "They volunteered their help before we could even ask, demonstrating their friendship and value as international partners. The crew of the Melville and its assets have been invaluable in the recovery effort. On behalf of the Marines, sailors, and families of III MEF, I thank you for your support."