A military exercise turned tragic as a helicopter carrying approximately 20 US Marines crashed off the coast of Darwin, Australia. The incident occurred during the ‘Predators Run’ drills, a joint training operation involving personnel from Australia, the United States, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Timor-Leste.
The crash of the Osprey Helicopter happened around 11:00 am local time near Melville Island. While the extent of casualties is not yet confirmed, there are concerns about potential casualties as some personnel remain unaccounted for. Thankfully, no Australians were onboard the ill-fated helicopter.
The incident has prompted a pause in the Predators Run exercises, which had a total participation of around 2500 individuals. Among these participants, 500 were from the United States, 120 from the Philippines, 120 from Indonesia, and 50 from Timor-Leste.
This tragic incident follows closely after another helicopter crash involving a MRH90 Taipan chopper last month, which plunged into the ocean off the Whitsundays with four defense personnel onboard.
Such incidents underscore the inherent risks associated with military exercises, and they serve as solemn reminders of the sacrifices and challenges faced by military personnel in training and operational contexts.