Debris from MV-22 Osprey aircraft crash located

An active search and rescue operation has reportedly begun for three US service members who went missing after an aircraft "mishap" occurred off the east coast of Australia. USA TODAY

Submerged debris from a MV-22 Osprey hybrid aircraft that crashed over the weekend during a training exercise off the coast of Australia, resulting in three missing United States Marines, was located Monday, the Australian Navy said in a statement. 

The tilt-rotor aircraft that can lift off vertically like a helicopter and fly like an airplane was found 400 miles northwest of the major regional city of Brisbane, in Shoalwater Bay. 

At the time of Saturday's accident, 26 military personnel were onboard the Osprey. Twenty-three were rescued. A search and rescue operation for the missing Marines was called off Sunday. The crash's cause has not been determined. 

The aircraft was taking part in joint military exercises with Australia's defense forces when it went missing from what the U.S. Marine Expeditionary Force called a "mishap."

The Osprey has been involved in a series of high-profile crashes in recent years.

A U.S. Osprey crashed during a training exercise in Hawaii, killing two Marines in 2015. Last December, a U.S. military Osprey crash-landed off Japan’s southern island of Okinawa. Its five crew members were rescued safely. In January, three U.S. soldiers were wounded in the "hard landing" of an Osprey in Yemen.

"I want to thank the Australian Defence Force, and the crew of the HMAS Melville in particular, for their assistance in the search and recovery effort of our MV-22 that went down off the coast of Australia," Lt. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson of the Marine Expeditionary Force‎ said in a statement Monday. "They volunteered their help before we could even ask, demonstrating their friendship and value as international partners.



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