Norway’s prime minister confirmed on Friday that four Marines are dead after the US Osprey helicopter tragically crashed during a huge NATO military operation in Norway.
“It is with tremendous regret that we have learned of the deaths of four American servicemen in a jet accident,” Norway’s Prime Minister said on Twitter on Saturday.
“A NATO drill known as Cold Response was attended by the troops. To the troops’ kin and family, we express our heartfelt condolences.”
📢 Four US marines killed in Norway plane crash during Nato exercise.
Source: Sky News pic.twitter.com/mjsz2RXf6F
— Dispatches of the Lotus Eaters (@lotuseatersnews) March 20, 2022
According to local officials, the jet crashed in the county of Nordland in Norway.
In a statement, Nordland Commander Bent Eilertsen stated when police got at the site close to 1:30 a.m. regional time, they “shortly established that the team of four had died.”
SAR crews were searching for the lost jet in Norway on Friday, and they were unsuccessful. Norwegian authorities have identified the remnants of the helicopter, according to an update released Saturday morning.
The whereabouts of the four troops are presently categorized as unknown, the Second Marine Expeditionary Force said.
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In a press release Friday, Maj. Jim Stenger, a spokesman for the United States Marine Corps, said the aircraft was performing training as a part of Cold Response when the incident happened.
This is a huge NATO military exercise that takes place every two years.
Around 3,000 United States Marines are now stationed in northern Norway as part of Cold Response 22; this has been regarded as one of the biggest NATO exercises held in that country since 1991.
An overall number of 30,000 soldiers are taking part in this year’s drill.
The exercise was planned well in advance before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Likewise, it also happens to play a vital role in the training of multinational NATO soldiers on how to function in the Arctic environment.
Search Still Underway
According to comments released Friday by the Norwegian, the search for a lost Osprey aircraft that was unable to land at its intended location is still underway.
As reported by Forsvaret (Norway’s armed forces), “The Osprey belongs to the US Marine Corps and is participating in the Norwegian defense exercise Cold Response in Norway”.
‘On Friday, March 18, 2022, the aircraft with a crew of four took out on a testing trip in Nodland County close to northern Norway.’
My heart is heavy reading about the four Marines killed in Norway. Rand and I are praying for the strength and comfort of their families as they face such terrible grief and loss.
— Kelley Paul (@KelleyAshbyPaul) March 19, 2022
During its flight to Bod, where it was expected to arrive shortly after 6 p.m. local time, the Osprey mysteriously disappeared at 6:26 p.m. local time, with its last known location being south of Bod, according to a statement from the airline.
Also as of right now, no US troops have been killed in Ukraine after Russia decided to invade. However, there has been an American journalist, who used to work for the New York Times, killed there last week.