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President Biden pays tribute to US Marines who lost their lives off the Darwin Coast

U.S. President Joe Biden has released a statement via X (formerly Twitter) about the victims of the deadly aircraft crash off Darwin that killed three U.S. marines on Aug. 28.

“Jill and I send our deepest condolences to the families of the Marines who lost their lives in this deadly crash. We are praying for those who also suffered injuries, ” the statement read.

Three U.S. marines were killed in an aircraft crash in Australia during a training exercise on the Tiwi Islands at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 27, with an additional five marines being flown to Royal Darwin Hospital in serious condition.

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Overnight, rescue and recovery teams worked on Melville Island, 80 kilometres north of Darwin, in response to the tragic incident.

Experts are currently in the process of investigating the factors that led to the crash of the U.S. military Boeing MV-22B Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, which was carrying a total of 23 marines.

The cause of the accident is yet to be determined, with U.S. officials saying it is too soon to say whether the accident was due to a mechanical failure or some other issue.

No Australian Defence Force personnel were injured in the incident.

Tragic Incident a Reminder of the Significant Risks Undertaken by Defence

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the incident was “tragic” at a scheduled press conference in Western Australia on Aug. 27.

“Our focus as a government and as a department of defence is very much on incident response and on making sure that every support and assistance is given at this difficult time,” he said.

In a joint statement on Aug. 28, Mr. Albanese and Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said that Australians’ thoughts and condolences are with the U.S. troops who had been involved in the incident.

“Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with the three U.S. service personnel who lost their lives, those who have been injured, the rest of the crew and indeed the entire United States armed forces,” they said.

A V-22 Osprey and a marine perform a demonstration at the US marines base in Moron de la Frontera Oct. 6, 2015. (CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP/Getty Images)
A V-22 Osprey and a marine perform a demonstration at the US marines base in Moron de la Frontera Oct. 6, 2015. (CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP/Getty Images)

“Australian and U.S. personnel have stood shoulder to shoulder for more than a century. Our Alliance is built upon these enduring links and our shared values.

“This incident is a reminder of the significance of the service undertaken by our personnel and those of our partner nations.

“Australia will continue to provide assistance to our friends for as long as is required.”

Meanwhile, the Northern Territory Chief Minister Natasha Fyles, whose territory was hosting the defence exercise, said of the injured marines that Australians were working to make sure everyone received care.

“We are working incredibly hard and as fast as we can to make sure we can get people to treatment,” she said.

Exercise Predators Run

The marines who were killed and injured aboard the aircraft were flying in support of Exercise Predators Run.

The crash happened on the first day of the twelve-day exercise that wraps up on Sept. 7.

The military exercise is the territory’s largest Australian-led military exercise involving around 2,500 soldiers and takes place in both the Tiwi Islands and Darwin Harbour.

It is a multi-national exercise involving soldiers from Australia, the U.S., the Philippines, Indonesia as well as Timor-Leste.

“Predators Run is … a very important exercise for us. We’re moving from a land-based organisation to a maritime-based organisation. As a result, we’ll be moving into that environment, operating around the Tiwi Islands and in Darwin Harbour,” Brigadier Nick Foxall said.

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