Four US Marines killed in Osprey crash in Norway

Nordland police said the crew of the tiltrotor aircraft, which was participating in a NATO training exercise, died in the accident on Friday night.

Marines killed Osprey crash Norbat
U.S. Marines with 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, II Marine Expeditionary Force prepare to land in an MV-22B Osprey over Norwegian Army Base Setermoen, Norway.

The Marines had been taking part in the long-planned Norwegian-led Cold Response exercise on Friday when their MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft crashed in Gråtådalen, Beiarn, south of Bodø, according to the Royal Norwegian Air Force.

The aircraft carrying four crew members assigned to II Marine Expeditionary Force was bound for Bodo Air Base where it was due to land shortly before 6pm on Friday.

"Yesterday afternoon I received a message saying that an American plane was missing and did not arrive in Bodø according to the original plan. I feared the worst, but I have long hoped for better news," the Norwegian chief of defense, Gen. Eirik Kristoffersen, said in a statement on Saturday.

"The search and rescue operation identified the site of the accident. Unfortunately, it has now been confirmed that the crew aboard the American plane died in the accident."

The Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Norway began a search-and-rescue operation after the Osprey failed to return Friday evening. Later on, a crash site was spotted from the air, south of Bodo.

Poor weather conditions made it impossible for rescue services to reach the site from the air, but police and rescue crews eventually made their way into the area by foot and snowmobile. The Royal Norwegian Air Force confirmed early Saturday that police officers had arrived at the crash site.

This year’s Cold Response exercises began in March and brought together about 30,000 troops from more than 27 countries across Europe and North America. It will continue according to plan with safety measures due to bad weather.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Image: USMC/Lance Cpl. Elias E. Pimentel III

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