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NATO Exercise Leaves Four US Marines Dead

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A NATO training exercise in Norway has resulted in the death of four U.S. Marines. The exercise was not related to the war in Ukraine.

An MV-22B Osprey aircraft crashed Friday, Norway’s Joint Rescue Coordination Centers said, according to Reuters.

“We’ve discovered an aircraft that has crashed. We’ve seen no sign of life,” Nordland police chief of staff Bent Eilertsen said. “We’ve been told it’s an American aircraft with four Americans on board,” he said.

The Osprey went down in difficult weather conditions, he said, delaying any hunt for survivors.

“It’s dark, the weather conditions are bad and there is a risk of avalanches,” Eilertsen said.

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The Osprey crashed Friday evening, according to CBS. Police did not reach the site until Saturday, when a rescue crew found there were no survivors.

Is this aircraft too unsafe for further use?

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere confirmed the casualties.

“It is with great sadness we have recived the message that four American soldiers died in a plane crash last night. The soldiers participated in the NATO exercise Cold Response. Our deepest sympathies go to the soldiers’ families, relatives and fellow soldiers in their unit,” he tweeted.

According to Marine Corps Times, about 3,000 Marines from the II Marine Expeditionary Force, based in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, were taking part in the exercise.

Ospreys with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 261, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, were shown earlier in the week operating out of Norwegian Air Force Base Bodø in Norway.

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The squadron is based in New River, North Carolina.

A 2019 report in Military.com said that the tiltrotor aircraft’s engines were vulnerable to dirt and debris and that to date no effective protection had been discovered.

“Though the nature of military service is inherently dangerous, the safety of our Marines, Sailors, Allies and partners is our top priority. Our hearts go out to the families affected by these events. The incident is currently under investigation by both Norwegian and U.S. organizations,” the Marine Corps said in a statement, according to CNN.
“Norwegian civil authorities took the lead in search and rescue efforts, and we are grateful for their professional commitment to our enduring relationship. We are immensely grateful for the support of all first responders, the Norwegian Armed Forces, and Allies and partners that contributed various assets and people in the ongoing efforts,” the statement said.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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