On August 27th, around 0930, a United States Marine Corps V-22 Osprey crashed roughly 50 miles south of Darwin while conducting a training mission with Australian troops. A total of 23 Marines were on board, with three of them perishing in the crash and the other 20 being sent to the hospital. As of the following morning, eight remained hospitalized.
According to Northern Territory Chief Minister Natasha Fyles, “It’s … a credit to everyone involved that we were able to get 20 patients from an extremely remote location on an island into our tertiary hospital within a matter of hours.”
Participating as a duo with another Osprey in Exercise Predators Run, they were flying from Darwin to Melville. This year, Australia was hosting as the US joined up with servicemembers from Indonesia, the Philippines, and East Timor as well. Currently, 150 or so Marines call Darwin home, and up to 2,500 Marines pass through the city yearly. The exercise is part of the Asia-Pacific group to stabilize the area in the face of China.
Currently, the crash is being investigated. As a tilt rotary aircraft, the Osprey can take off vertically like a helicopter, then pivot its blades to fly much faster and more stable like a plane, but it has its limits. In this instance, the aircraft crashed into a rainforest and burst into flames. As it stands, since 2012, there have been five fatal crashes and 16 total deaths.
With 16 total major malfunctions of a clutch in the bird since 2012, many are pushing the Marine Corps to retire the aircraft. Yet many are surprised by its durability and its capability to deliver results time after time. Among the impressed with first responders and officials in Australia. Defense Minister Richard Marles told Nine News TV, “It’s remarkable that in many ways, so many have survived. This remains a very tragic incident, and the loss of those lives are keenly felt.”
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin offered condolences to the family and loved ones of those lost and offered them thoughts and prayers as well as to those wounded, and USMC. His canned statement is typical of what has come from Biden’s puppet of a Sec Def. Sadly, for many Americans, he hasn’t been the picture of excellence we hoped he could be.
Ever since he took office, the spark that made him an amazing commander in Iraq as we withdrew combat troops and in other roles is gone. Instead, they have stuffed a corporate yes man into a suit and called him the Sec Def. A position like this takes the backbone and the intestinal fortitude to make the tough decisions, including grounding an aircraft like an Osprey for being too dangerous.
While their accidents aren’t incredibly prevalent, with 16 clutch malfunctions as well as other non-fatal problems, many servicemembers notice that there is a problem here. While it might just look that way because it’s such a new aircraft, if you look at the news history, some too many cases and problems have popped up with this bird, and even maintenance techs say it’s a nightmare to keep going right. This just makes it a liability in the long run, and it likely should be scaled back.
Yet, just like every other position related to Joe Biden’s administration, you can see where Democrats have investments in the companies responsible for this contract, so it never will be enough for them until the funding dries up. Especially since Joe himself is known to have some shares out that way.
For the families of the Marines who lost their lives, deepest condolences. May our brothers and sisters rest easy. Make them identify what went wrong, and open the books. This program has cost too many Marines their lives, and it’s time this be addressed.