Four Marines were killed during a NATO training Friday: James W Speedy, Ross A Reynolds, Matthew J Tomkiewicz and Jacob M Moore (Pictures: AP / II Marine Expeditionary Force)
The US Marines on Sunday released the names of the four Marines who were killed during a NATO training exercise off the coast of Norway on Friday.
In a statement, the Marines identified the deceased as: Captain Matthew J Tomkiewicz, 27, of Fort Wayne, Indiana; Captain Ross A Reynolds, 27, of Leominster, Massachusetts; Gunnery Sargent James W Speedy, 30, of Cambridge, Ohio; and Corporal Jacob M Moore, 24, of Catlettsburg, Kentucky.
The four men were taken from the crash site and are in the process of being returned to the US. The cause of the crash is still under investigation. Officials have shared that the exercise, which had been scheduled for months, had nothing to do with Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine.
‘The pilots and crew were committed to accomplishing their mission and serving a cause greater than themselves,’ said Major General Michael Cederholm, the commanding general of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, where the men were stationed in New River, North Carolina.
Their aircraft, a MV-22B Osprey, was found by a rescue helicopter in the municipality of Beiarn, Nordland Police Chief of Staff Bent Arne Eilertsen said on Saturday.
Eilertsen described the aircraft, which had gone missing around 6.26pm local time Friday, as sustaining ‘major damage.’
The aircraft had been heading toward the town of Bodø, located north of the Arctic Circle, the Norwegian Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) said in a statement. its last known location was by Saltfjellet.
The fallen Marines were participating in Cold Response, a Norwegian-led military exercise that involves over 30,000 soldiers from 27 different countries, according to the BBC.
According to NATO’s website, Cold Response 2022 is ‘a long-planned exercise bringing together thousands of troops from NATO Allies and partners, testing their ability to work together in cold weather conditions across Norway — on land, in the air and at sea.’
‘This year’s exercise was announced over eight months ago,’ NATO said on its website. ‘It is not linked to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine, which NATO is responding to with preventive, proportionate and non-escalatory measures.’
The exercises began on March 14 and are scheduled to end on April 1.
It is the first time an Osprey has crashed in five years.
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