On Sunday, U.S. military officials sadly called off the search and rescue mission for three Marines that were missing following the crash of their Osprey aircraft off the coast of Australia. As the Associated Press reported, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps are now conducting a recovery mission—essentially confirming that they do not expect to find the missing servicemen alive.
Military officials said the MV-22 Osprey, which had 26 people onboard, launched from the USS Bonhomme Richard in the Pacific Ocean on Saturday and was conducting regularly scheduled operations when it crashed into the water. The rescue effort was quick, with 23 of 26 personnel aboard the aircraft being rescued, but the search for the missing continued overnight.
According to the AP, the aircraft was in Australia for joint military exercises that happened last month in Shoalwater Bay in Queensland state. The Talisman Sabre exercise, which occurs every other year, involved more than 30,000 troops and 200 aircraft.
While the identities of the three Marines has not been released, their families are in need of our thoughts and prayers. The premier of Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk, released a statement on Monday honoring the fallen soldiers.
“First of all, can I extend our condolences those marines that have tragically lost their life over the weekend,” she said. “I can assure the people of Queensland that my government is offering whatever assistance is needed and we have conveyed that to U.S. authorities.”
(H/T: Faith Family America)