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Posted: January 31, 2017 4:29 PM

Marine Osprey Lost in Yemen Took No Enemy Fire

By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft lost in Yemen this week did not crash as a result of hostile action, U.S. Central Command said.

In a Jan. 31 statement e-mailed to Seapower, a Central Command spokesman said that the MV-22 “experienced a hard landing” on Jan. 29 at a staging area in Yemen’s Al Bayda Governorate, injuring three personnel.

“The aircraft did not take enemy fire and did not go down because of hostile action against it,” the spokesman said. “The aircraft was determined to be un-flyable and was then destroyed in place by U.S. forces.”

The Osprey was involved in an operation supporting special operations forces in an action against al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) targets in Yemen. Chief Special Warfare Operator William “Ryan” Owens, 36, of Peoria, Illinois, died Jan. 29 of wounds sustained in the raid. He was assigned to an East Coast-based Special Warfare unit, the spokesman said.

“Fourteen AQAP operatives were killed as the raid also yielded valuable captured materials from the site that will provide us deeper insight to help prevent terrorism planning against innocent citizens of the U.S. and our Coalition partner nations,” the spokesman said. “The U.S. service member was killed in a firefight at the targeted compound. Three service members were wounded at the same location.”

According to unofficial records, no Marine Corps or Air Force Ospreys have been lost to enemy fire in nearly 10 years of operations, although at least two, including one Air Force CV-22B, crashed while supporting combat operations. Three CV-22Bs were hit by small arms fire in December 2013 during a mission to evacuate American civilians from South Sudan.



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