US Military searches for three lost Marines

A search is under way after a USA military helicopter crashed off the coast of Queensland, Australia.

A search and rescue operation is under way off Queensland's coast for three marines who are missing after a United States military plane crashed into the sea.

The Osprey had launched from the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship and was conducting regularly scheduled operations when the helicopter "entered the water", according to a statement from the III Marine Expeditionary Force.

"The circumstances of the mishap are now under investigation", it added.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed. The Osprey is a tiltrotor aircraft created to be able to take off and land vertically but fly much like a plane at greater speeds than conventional helicopters.

The aircraft, an MV-22 Osprey, crashed at Shoalwater Bay near Rockhampton on Saturday afternoon.

The aircraft was still in Australia after completing a joint U.S.

The incident involved an MV-22 Osprey belonging to the US Marines based in Okinawa, Japan.

The MV-22 Osprey aircraft is crewed by four people and can carry up to 32 troops. They are much faster than helicopters and have the capability to move vertically.

The Osprey aircraft were in Australia for a joint military training exercise held by the US and Australia last month in Shoalwater Bay.

In April 2000, 19 people were killed in the crash of one in the US.

The United States and Australia have a long history of military partnership, including cooperation in the coalition during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

The Marine Corps also participates in rotational unit training deployments to Australia, known as Marine Rotational Force-Darwin, or MRF-D.

  • Santos West