The U.S. Marine Corps has identified four Marines killed when a MV-22B Osprey went down during NATO cold weather training exercise in Norway Friday evening.
The incident, which occurred while the tiltrotor aircraft and crew were participating in Exercise Cold Response 2022, is now under investigation by U.S. military and Norwegian officials.
“The pilots and crew were committed to accomplishing their mission and serving a cause greater than themselves.”
Maj. Gen. Michael Cederholm, commanding general of 2nd Division Marine Aircraft Wing, II Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) in a letter to Marines
All four Marines were assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 261 based in New River, North Carolina, the service said.
The Corps identified those killed in the incident as:
Capt. Matthew J. Tomkiewicz of Fort Wayne, Indiana, MV-22B pilotCapt. Ross A. Reynolds of Leominster, Massachusetts, MV-22B pilotGunnery Sgt. James W. Speedy of Cambridge, Ohio, administrative specialistCpl. Jacob M. Moore of Catlettsburg, Kentucky, MV-22B Crew Chief
“The pilots and crew were committed to accomplishing their mission and serving a cause greater than themselves,” Maj. Gen. Michael Cederholm, commanding general of 2nd Division Marine Aircraft Wing, II Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) said in a letter to Marines.
The Corps initially reported an aircraft mishap involving a MV-22B late Friday evening and said Norwegian civil authorities were leading search and rescue efforts.
“Norwegian civil authorities took the lead in search and rescue efforts, and we are grateful for their professional commitment to our enduring relationship,” the USMC said in a statement. “We are immensely grateful for the support of all first responders, the Norwegian Armed Forces, and Allies and partners that contributed various assets and people in the ongoing efforts.”
The MV-22B was on a training mission in Nordland County Friday evening and had been scheduled to land before 6 p.m., Norwegian Armed Forces said in a statement. “The [rotorcraft] crashed in Gråtådalen in Beiarn, south of Bodø,” it said. Local police arrived at the scene around 1:30 a.m. Saturday.
“The search and rescue operation found what was an accident site,” Norwegian Chief of Defence, General Eirik Kristoffersen said. “It has now sadly been confirmed that the crew on board the American aircraft died in the accident. My thoughts go to the crew’s family, friends and colleagues.”
NATO’s Cold Response 22 is an annual military training exercise in Norway, comprising about 30,000 troops from 27 countries representing European and North American militaries.
“This year’s exercise was announced over eight months ago. It is not linked to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine, which NATO is responding to with preventive, proportionate, and non-escalatory measures,” NATO said in a statement describing the exercises.
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