Osprey crash in Norway kills 4 US Marines
Four US sailors were killed during a NATO training exercise in Norway, Norwegian police said on Saturday.
The Royal Norwegian Air Force said in a statement that marines were participating in a long-planned exercise called Cold Response on Friday when their MV-22B Osprey tilt-rotor plane crashed in the northern county of Nordland, south of Bodo Gone.
Conducted regularly by Norway, the cold response exercise aims to teach soldiers survival skills in extreme weather conditions in the Arctic. NATO said in a statement that the Cold Response 2022 was not linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The sailors were reported missing on Friday evening after the Osprey did not land by 6 pm local time. Norwegian police are investigating, but the cause of the accident is not yet known.
“I feared the worst, but had long expected better news,” Norway’s chief of defense, General Erik Kristoffersson, said in a statement on Saturday.
The crew members were assigned to the Second Marine Expeditionary Force, which said in a statement Saturday morning that they were listed as “duty status unknown location” – potentially indicating that the Marines had not yet completed their mission. The remains have not been recovered.
The Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Norway launched a search and rescue operation on Friday evening after the Osprey failed to return. Later, a crash site was observed from the wind south of Bodo.
Bad weather conditions made it impossible for rescue services to reach the site by air, but police and rescue teams eventually made their way into the area on foot and by snowmobile. The Royal Norwegian Air Force confirmed early Saturday that police officers had arrived at the crash site.
This year’s cold response exercise began in March and brought together nearly 30,000 troops from more than 27 countries in Europe and North America.
The Prime Minister of Norway, Jonas Gahr Store, posted condolence message on twitter Saturday morning.
“It is with great sadness that we receive the message that four US servicemen were killed in a plane crash last night,” he wrote.
john ismay Contributed to reporting.
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