On Sunday, during a routine military exercise, three U.S. Marines lost their lives in an aircraft crash off the northern coast of Australia, according to officials.
(Reuters) – Five individuals were taken to Royal Darwin Hospital in serious condition, as confirmed by Marine Rotation Force – Darwin in a press release. They were part of a group of 23 Marines aboard the MV-22B Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, which unfortunately crashed. The cause of the crash is currently under investigation.
The incident occurred on the remote Tiwi Islands at around 9:30 a.m. local time (0130 GMT), according to the statement. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese described the event as “tragic” and noted that the Osprey was supporting the military exercise known as Exercise Predators Run 2023. Fortunately, no Australian personnel were involved in the crash.
During a previously scheduled press conference in Western Australia, the prime minister emphasized the government’s commitment to incident response and providing all necessary support during this challenging time.
Approximately 2,500 personnel from Australia, the United States, the Philippines, Indonesia, and East Timor were participating in these exercises.
In recent years, the United States and Australia, crucial allies in the Pacific, have been strengthening their military collaboration in response to China’s growing assertiveness.
Albanese and Defense Minister Richard Marles emphasized, “For over a century, Australian and US personnel have stood side by side.” They added, “This incident serves as a poignant reminder of the dedication and importance of the service provided by our personnel and those from our partner nations.”
Tragically, last month, four Australian soldiers lost their lives during extensive joint exercises when their helicopter tragically crashed into the ocean near Queensland’s coast.