Search Under Way for Osprey That Went Down Off Australian Coast

Participants in a ceremony marking the start of Talisman Saber 2017 a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia board a U.S. Marines MV-22B Osprey on the deck of the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship off the coa

Participants in a ceremony marking the start of Talisman Saber 2017 a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia board a U.S. Marines MV-22B Osprey on the deck of the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship off the coa

Search and rescue operations continue overnight off the eastern coast of Australia for three American military members missing in an aircraft mishap.

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.

A search and rescue effort is continuing to find the missing three Marines.

Australia's Defence Minister, Marise Payne, said she had spoken to her USA counterpart, James Mattis, and confirmed the incident happened near Shoalwater Bay, off the coast of Queensland.

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

The Marine Corps did not say what caused the crash but indicated it is under investigation. Last month, a cargo plane carrying 15 Marines and one sailor crashed in western MS, killing all aboard.

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The MV-22 Osprey is a tilt-rotor aircraft, capable of carrying 24 people at a time in addition to four crew members. A search and rescue operation has been launched for the same.

The U.S. Military confirmed in a statement there was an active search and rescue operation for members involved in the MV-22 mishap.

An MV-22 Osprey pictured at an RAAF Base in Townsville.

The Osprey aircraft were in Australia for a joint military training exercise held by the USA and Australia last month in Shoalwater Bay. After that, it became operational in 2007 and has since been involved five more crashes, resulting in the death of nine more.

The aircraft, resembling a cross between a helicopter and airplane, has capabilities including taking off vertically and travelling much faster than a helicopter.

Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne said the incident occurred off the coast of Queensland's Shoalwater Bay, which is home to a military training area.

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