OSLO, NORWAY – A U.S. Marine Corps Bell Boeing MV-22B Osprey has crashed on Friday in Artic Norway killing all four crew members on board, Norwegian officials said on Saturday morning. The tilt-rotor aircraft crashed in Northern Norway in an area known for its vicious and temperamental weather. The MV-22B was taking part in NATO military exercise Cold Response, when it was reported missing early in the evening on Friday.
The MV-22B Osprey – an aircraft that can hover, take off and land vertically like a helicopter – crashed as weather conditions deteriorated in the Arctic near Bodø Municipality in the province of Nordland, Northern Norway. The aircraft was reported missing Friday evening after it disappeared from radar. The wreckage of the aircraft was later found by Norwegian search and rescue teams. “We found it after a distress signal was received,” the emergency services said.
Police arrived at the scene around 1:30 AM local time and “confirmed that the crew of 4 were deceased,” Nordland Chief in Staff Bent Eilertsen said in a statement. “As far as we know, all 4 are American.”
“It is with great sadness we have recived the message that four American soldiers died in a plane crash last night. The soldiers participated in the NATO exercise Cold Response. Our deepest sympathies go to the soldiers’ families, relatives and fellow soldiers in their unit,“, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said on Twitter Saturday morning.
“The aircraft has a crew of four and was out on a training mission in Nordland County, northern Norway on Friday 18 March 2022,” Forsvaret, Norway’s armed forces, said in a statement. The MV-22B was en route to Bodø, where it was scheduled to land just before 6:00 PM (local time) and was reported missing at 6:26 PM with its last known position being south of Bodø.
“Though the nature of military service is inherently dangerous, the safety of our Marines, Sailors, Allies and partners is our top priority.”Our hearts go out to the families affected by these events,” the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force said in a statement.
Maj. Jim Stenger – U.S. Marine Corps spokesperson – said in a statement Friday that the aircraft was conducting training as part of the large biannual NATO exercise Cold Response exercise, when the incident occurred. The incident remains under investigation, Maj. Jim Stenger added.
Currently, troops from across Europe and North America are training together in harsh climatic conditions as part of Norwegian exercise Cold Response 2022. The exercise is defensive and long-planned (announced over 8 months ago), and it demonstrates NATO’s ability to respond decisively to any threat, from any direction.
Cold Response 2022 – described as one of the largest NATO exercises since the end of the Cold War – is held every 2 years, and was planned long before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Around 30,000 troops from 27 nations (of which 3,000 U.S. Marines), including NATO’s close partners Finland and Sweden, are taking part in the exercise, as well as about 220 aircraft and more than 50 vessels.
Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey
The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is an American multi-mission, tilt-rotor military aircraft with both vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) and short takeoff and landing (STOL) capabilities. It’s designed to combine the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft.
The MV-22B – the U.S. Marine Corps variant – is an assault transport aircraft for troops, equipment and supplies, capable of operating from ships or expeditionary airfields ashore. It replaced the USMC CH-46E and CH-53D helicopter fleet. The Marine Corps began crew training in 2000 and the MV-22B entered service in 2007.
The CV-22B is the U.S. Air Force variant for the U.S. Special Operations Command. It conducts long-range special operations missions and is equipped with extra wing fuel tanks, an AN/APQ-186 terrain-following radar, and other equipment such as the AN/ALQ-211, and AN/AAQ-24 Nemesis Directional Infrared Counter Measures. The fuel capacity is increased by 588 gallons (2,230 L) with two inboard wing tanks; three auxiliary tanks (200 or 430 gal) can also be added in the cabin. The CV-22 entered service with the U.S. Air Force in 2009, where it replaced the MH-53 Pave Low helicopter.
Since entering service with the USAF and USMC, the Osprey has been deployed in transportation and medevac operations over Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Kuwait.
The CMV-22B is the U.S. Navy variant and will replace the C-2A Greyhound for the Carrier Onboard Delivery (COD) mission. The aircraft is similar to the MV-22B but includes an extended-range fuel system, a high-frequency radio, and a public address system for passengers.
It entered service mid-2021 and declared Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in December 2021 and will reach full operational capability anticipated in 2023.
The CMV-22B transports personnel, mail, supplies and cargo from shore bases to aircraft carriers at sea.
Head photo: U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey in Kuwait on September 24, 2020 – U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Andrew Skiver
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