San Diego

USMC Orders ‘Operational Reset' After Osprey Crash Off Australia

The commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps has ordered a 24-hour stand-down of all flight operations, or "an operational reset," USMC officials confirmed Friday.

The pause in flight operations will not happen immediately but at some point within the next two weeks, according to a statement.

General Robert. B. Neller directed all aviation units to perform the operational reset, where no flights will take place but no operational commitments would be impacted, USMC officials said. 

An American MV-22 Osprey was conducting regularly scheduled operations on Saturday when it crashed into the water near a Navy transport dock off the coast of Australia. The wreckage was found two days later. Three Marines died in the crash. 

A Camp Pendleton-based Marine was one of the victims.

Pfc. Ruben Velasco, 19, was assigned to the Battery G, Battalion Landing Team for the third Battalion, fifth Marines based out of Camp Pendleton, according to the Marine Corps.

The other victims were identified as first Lt. Benjamin Cross, 26, from Oxford, Maine and Cpl. Nathaniel Ordway, 21, from Kansas.

Twenty-three other personnel who were on board the Osprey when it crashed were rescued. 

The Osprey is a tilt-rotor aircraft that takes off and lands like a helicopter but flies like an airplane. The aircraft has been involved in a series of high-profile crashes in recent years.

Contact Us