THE four US Marines killed in Norway after their MV-22 crashed due to stormy weather have been identified.
Capt. Matthew J. Tomkiewicz, Capt. Ross A. Reynolds, Gunnery Sgt. James W. Speedy and Cpl. Jacob M. Moore were all Marines of Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 261.
The four were in Norway as part of the biannual NATO exercise Cold Response. Their bodies were recovered with the support of the Marine Corps and are currently being transported to the United States.
The country’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre expressed his “deepest condolences” to the families and colleagues of the crew who died during drills in a remote region of Norway on Friday.
Rescue teams reached the crash site early Saturday morning after poor weather conditions prevented helicopters from landing.
The area had been battered by gale force winds and heavy rains, while rescuers were at risk of avalanches.
Støre wrote on Twitter: “It is with great sadness that we received the news that four American service members were killed in a plane crash last night.
“The soldiers took part in the NATO exercise Cold Response.
“Our deepest sympathy goes to the families, relatives and comrades of the soldiers in their unit.”
An investigation into the crash was launched but was slowed by poor weather.
The MV-22B Osprey aircraft was participating in a NATO military exercise when it was reported missing just before 6:30 p.m. local time on Friday.
The US Marine Corps plane, which was on a “cold response” training exercise, was scheduled to land at 6 p.m.
A Norwegian military rescue helicopter and Orion aircraft searching the area spotted the wreckage from the air after receiving a distress signal.
Nordland Police Chief of Staff Bent Eilertsen said: “We have spotted a downed plane.
“We saw no sign of life.”
He added: “We were told it was an American plane with four Americans on board.”
Because of the bad weather, the rescue plane could not land.
Instead, police and emergency services attempted to reach the site by land, but it was unclear how long this would take.
Mr. Eilertsen said: “It is dark, the weather conditions are bad and there is a risk of avalanches.”
A spokesman for Norway’s Joint Rescue Coordination Center previously said: “We have made an aerial find.
“We found it after receiving a distress signal.”
Tomkiewicz joined the Marines in 2015. His awards include the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Seas Service Deployment Ribbon.
Reynolds joined the Corps in 2017. His awards include the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, and multiple certifications and letters of appreciation, the Marine Corps said.
Speedy was an administration specialist at VMM-261. In 2009 he was sent to boot camp.
His awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with two gold stars, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Marine Corps Drill Instructor Ribbon, and several certificates and letters of recognition.
Moore came forward in 2018. He was the Osprey’s crew chief. His awards include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal/
“The pilots and crew are committed to fulfilling their mission and serving a cause greater than themselves,” Maj. Gen. Michael Cederholm, commander of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, said in a letter to the Marines and their families.
“We will continue to execute the mission while keeping these Marines and their service in mind. We will never allow the sacrifice of these Marines to go unnoticed or unnoticed.”
The Marine Corps is investigating the cause of the crash.
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https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/18013753/united-states-marines-killed-identified-update/ Four Marines killed in Norway Osprey crash after planes crashed during NATO exercise Cold Response