Osprey Down In Hawaii 1 Marine Dead

  • May 18, 2015 6:20am GMT

One Marine was killed and 21 others hurt Sunday when a helicopter at Bellows Air Force Station experienced a "hard landing," according to The Navy Times. The incident took place just as the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy this week were hosting defense leaders from around the Pacific.

Marine Corps Forces Pacific spokesman Capt. Alex Lim said, "An MV-22 Osprey from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit crashed during a training exercise around 11:40 a.m. local time. Twenty-two people were aboard the aircraft, including 21 Marines and one Navy corpsman assigned to the unit. The injuries ranged from critical to minor." The cause of the incident is under investigation. Officials have not identified any of the Marines aboard.

The Marine statement also said they were training at Bellows Air Force Station on Oahu. The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit is based at Camp Pendleton in California. Since May 10, the unit has been on a seven-month deployment to the Pacific Command and Central Command areas of operation.

Representatives from Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, a total of 23 nations were joining the meeting which was to include an opportunity to watch U.S. Marines and sailors demonstrate landing forces on a Hawaii beach.

The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Provides a forward deployed, flexible sea-based Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) capable of conducting Amphibious Operations, crisis response and limited contingency operations, to include enabling the introduction of follow-on forces, and, designated special operations, in order to support the theater requirements of Geographic Combatant Commanders (GCC).

Previous Crashes

In October, Marine Cpl. Jordan L. Spears died after the Osprey he was in lost power after taking off from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship Makin Island. He and another Marine jumped out of the aircraft. The pilot subsequently regained control of the aircraft, and safely landed on back on the Makin Island.

A 2012 Marine investigation concluded that operator error caused an April crash of an Osprey in Morocco that killed two Marines and injured two others.

Also in 2012, five airmen with the Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.-based 1st Special Operations Wing were injured when their Osprey crashed June 13 in a remote area of Eglin's sprawling reservation north of Navarre, Fla.