At approximately 2300 EST, initial reports began to indicate a U.S. Marine MV-22 Osprey had crashed while supporting Exercise PREDATORS RUN in Northern Territory, Australia. For the first hour, reports only indicated that Marines were injured in the crash. However, by 0230 EST, local media learned that of the twenty three Marines onboard, three had died, one had been critically injured, and two more had been serious injured.
The U.S. military scrambled a Quick Reaction Force and recovery aircraft from RAAF Base Darwin immediately following the report while an Australian C-130 circled overhead.
At 0330 EST, Marine Rotational Force Darwin released this statement:
Both the Australian Prime Minister and Chief of Defence confirmed that no Austrlian nationals were onboard, but extended their condolences to the U.S. The operation is reportedly still paused as the Marines undergo surgery. As of this publication, the critically injured Marine is still in surgery at Royal Darwin Hospital where at least one Code Brown has already been declared.
I am saddened to hear of an aircraft incident north of Darwin involving US defence personnel, during Exercise Predator’s Run.
Our thoughts are very much with our close friends the United States.
— Richard Marles (@RichardMarlesMP) August 27, 2023
This crash comes less than two days after a Marine F/A-18 from VMFA-224 crashed on Friday, killing one Marine aviator near Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.