Search on for Missing Marines After US Aircraft 'Mishap' off Australia

Wichita-area native is one of three Marines missing near Australia

A pilot and a crew chief are among three Marines presumed dead after their MV-22 Osprey crashed Saturday off the coast of Australia during a training exercise, according to family members of the Marines' whose bodies are still missing.

Aboard the Osprey were 26 troops assigned to the 31st MEU; 23 were quickly recovered, and a search-and-rescue effort was launched for the remaining three Marines.

Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne said the incident occurred off the coast of Shoalwater Bay in Queensland state.

The tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey plunged into the sea at Shoalwater Bay, near Rockhampton, during a scheduled military exercise on Saturday.

The families of all three missing Marines had been notified by Monday, according to the Marine Corps, but the Pentagon had yet to publicly identify them. An Australian navy ship arrived in Shoalwater Bay in Queensland state Sunday night to help the us military hunt for the MV-22 Osprey.

On Monday, Defense Minister Itusnori Onodera told the US military of his "many concerns" after another one of the controversial tilt-rotor transports made a flight in Japan in the wake of the crash off Queensland.

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Twenty-three of the 26 personnel on board the aircraft were rescued, the Marine Corps said. They have been involved in a series of crashes in recent years.

Australian troops are among USA -led coalition forces fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Osprey is believed to have crashed when it was trying to land on the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier. Rescue efforts were called called off Sunday and USA officials were now calling the search a recovery effort. And in January, three USA soldiers were wounded in the "hard landing" of an Osprey in Yemen.

USA military forces have been operating in the area as part of a joint training exercise called Talisman Sabre.

A squadron of Ospreys is based at the Marines' Futenma base on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa.

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