Four U.S. Marines died after their V-22B Osprey aircraft crashed Friday during a NATO exercise in Norway, the Norwegian armed forces said on Saturday.
The United States’ V-22 Osprey, a multi-mission, tiltrotor military aircraft with both vertical … [+] takeoff and landing, flies during a joint demonstration as part of the NATO Trident Juncture 2018 exercise in Byneset near Trondheim, Norway, October 30, 2018. (Photo by JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images)
AFP via Getty Images
The four-person crew were taking part in a training exercise called Cold Response when their tiltrotor aircraft crashed south of the city of Bodo in northern Norway, according to the Norwegian Armed Forces.
A search and rescue mission was launched after the aircraft was due to arrive in Bodo around 6 p.m. on Friday, and authorities later confirmed four U.S. Marines assigned to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force were killed.
The U.S. 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force did not confirm the deaths in a statement, but said four U.S. Marines were missing following an “aviation incident” involving an Osprey.
The crash is under investigation by Norwegian and U.S. authorities, according to the U.S. 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force.
NATO did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Forbes, but said in a statement to the New York Times the exercise was not linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The V-22, built by Bell and Boeing, was dogged by safety concerns during its development. A horrific flight test crash in April 2000 killed 23 U.S. Marines, followed by another eight months later that killed four Marines. The Cold Response exercise is routinely conducted in Norway to teach troops how to withstand cold weather conditions in the Arctic. About 30,000 troops from more than 27 countries are taking part in this year’s exercise, according to NATO. The Norwegian Armed Forces said the exercise will carry on as planned, “with the measures we have to take due to the weather.”