US Marines helicopter crashes off Qld 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

The incident involved a MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, the III Marine Expeditionary Force based in Okinawa, Japan, said on its Twitter account.

According to MSN, the U.S Marine Corps said that the incident was under investigation but would give no further comment.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.

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

There were 26 Marine personnel on board the Osprey when it crashed in what is being characterized as a "mishap". Last December, a USA military Osprey crash-landed off Japan's southern island of Okinawa.

"I can confirm no Australian Defence Force personnel were on board the aircraft", she said in a statement.

More recently, two US troops were injured when a Marine MV-22 made a "hard landing" during a counterterrorism operation in Yemen in January.

MV-22 aircraft, known as Ospreys, have a somewhat checkered history, with a number of the helicopter-plane hybrids going down recently. The Osprey's are created to fly between Aircraft Carriers.

The battle phase of the training exercise centred around the Shoalwater Bay Training Area in Central Queensland. "The United States are leading the search and recovery effort", she said.

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

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. Last December, a USA military Osprey crash-landed off Japan's southern island of Okinawa.

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