The US military has launched a search and rescue operation for service members off the east coast of Australia after an undisclosed "mishap" involving one of its aircraft, according to a statement from the Marine base Camp Butler in Japan.
A US Marines aircraft has reportedly crashed off the Australian coast. The Osprey was in Australia for a joint training exercise between the United States and Australia that ended July 25. No Australian Defence Force personnel were aboard the helicopter at the time of the crash.
MV-22B Ospreys, assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 265 (Reinforced), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), prepare to take off from the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) during Talisman Saber 17.
There are unconfirmed reports that 23 of the 25 crew have been rescued.
Twenty-three of them have been rescued, but a search and rescue effort for the remaining three. Ospreys are a cross between a helicopter and plane and have been involved in a number of recent crashes.
'I can confirm no Australian Defence Force personnel were on board the aircraft, ' Ms Payne said in a statement.
More recently, two US troops were injured when a Marine MV-22 made a "hard landing" during a counterterrorism operation in Yemen in January. The Osprey is a tiltrotor aircraft created to be able to take off and land vertically but fly much like a plane at greater speeds than conventional helicopters.