ALL five victims of Wednesday’s fatal military plane crash have been identified.
The aircraft, identified as the MV-22B Osprey, was based at Camp Pendleton with Marine Aircraft Group 39 and was part of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing headquartered at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego.
The MV-22B Osprey crashed about 12:25 p.m. local time in Imperial County, a remote location about 30 miles north of the US-Mexico border.
“We mourn the loss of our Marines in this tragic accident. Our hearts go out to their families and friends as they navigate this tragedy,” the commanding general of the 3rd MAW, Maj. Gen. Bradford K. Gering, said in a statement.
All men were assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 364, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing and were based at Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, California.
They have been identified as: Cpl Nathan E Carlson, 21, Capt. Nicholas P Losapio, 31, Cpl Seth D Rasmuson, 21, Capt. John J Sax, 33, and Lance Cpl Evan A Strickland, 19.
“It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the loss of five Marines from the Purple Fox family,” said Lt Col John C. Miller in an opinion.
“This is an extremely difficult time for VMM-364 and it is difficult to express the impact this loss has had on our squadron and its families.
“Our primary responsibility now is to care for the family members of our fallen Marines, and we respectfully ask for privacy for their families as they navigate this difficult time
We appreciate all of the prayers and support from the strong extended Purple Fox family and want them to know that more information on how they can help will be released shortly.”
First Lieutenant Duane Kempa of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing confirmed to The Sun on Wednesday that the plane crashed in a desert area near Glamis, California.
The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing says the victims’ identities will not be released until “24 hours after all notifications to next of kin have been completed.”
“While military service is inherently dangerous, the loss of life is always difficult,” General Gering added.
OSPREY’S CONTROVERSIAL HISTORY
The MV-22B is a twin-engine tiltrotor aircraft that can take off and land like a helicopter but can be transported as a turboprop aircraft.
Versions of the aircraft are flown by the Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force.
However, the plane had a troubling history, causing 46 deaths, according to the Los Angeles Times.
There have been eight Osprey crashes since the Pentagon commissioned the MV-22B in 2007, the outlet reported.
In March, four North Carolina-based Marines were killed in another Osprey crash during a NATO exercise near a Norwegian town in the Arctic Circle.
In 2001, the Marine Corps suspended the commander of its MV-22 Osprey training squadron amid allegations that he asked aides to falsify maintenance records, according to the LA Times.
According to the outlet, the Pentagon’s top test official said in a November 2000 study that “Osprey had unusually high maintenance requirements and suffered from problems that would render it unreliable and often unavailable for missions if not addressed.”
The trial and suspension came after two fatal Osprey crashes in 2000 that skewed the controversial aircraft’s record.
A crash near New River Marine Corps Air Station in Jacksonville, NC, in December of that year killed four Marines.
Another in April 2000 in Arizona killed 19.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5520375/military-aircraft-crash-helicopter-victims/ Military aircraft crash victims named for 5 Marines all killed in California in ‘accident under investigation’