A major search was underway Saturday after a “mishap” involving a US military aircraft off the Australian coast, with reports saying at least two soldiers were missing and feared dead.
US Marines based in Japan said there was “an active search and rescue operation ongoing for service members involved in an MV-22 mishap off the east coast of Australia”.
The MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor is the primary assault support aircraft for the Marines, with two engines positioned on fixed wing tips that allow it to land and take off vertically. It also has the ability to travel much faster than a helicopter.
The Marine Corps said in a statement that small boats and aircraft were involved in the search.
Australia’s Sunday Telegraph newspaper said two people were missing and feared dead, with unconfirmed reports that the rest of the 25 personnel on board had been rescued.
The Osprey was believed to be in the region as part of the Australian-US joint military exercise Talisman Sabre, which has just concluded in Queensland state.