The U.S.-led attack on the Islamic State group claimed its first American life Thursday when a search and rescue operation was called off for a U.S. Marine who went missing in the Persian Gulf after his aircraft suffered technical problems, the U.S. Navy said. The statement was reported by BNO News as well as Central Command.
The Marine airman, whose identity was not immediately released, was among four people aboard a U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey aircraft that took off from the USS Makin Island on Wednesday afternoon (local time) before suffering a loss of power. Two of the crew members bailed out of the aircraft when it appeared it was about to crash into the ocean.
The pilot of the Osprey was eventually able to regain control of the aircraft and managed to land safely aboard the USS Makin Island, and then a search and rescue was launched. One of the two who exited the aircraft was pulled out of the water and taken back to the amphibious assault ship, where he was reported in a stable condition.
“U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard personnel conducted an extensive search of the area using all available assets, which continued throughout the night and the next day,” U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said in a statement. It said the search in the North Persian Gulf was called off at 1500 GMT (11 a.m. EDT) Thursday after efforts to locate the missing man were unsuccessful.
The U.S. Navy said the Osprey aircraft was participating in flight operations in support of a U.S.-led air campaign against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. Wednesday’s casualty makes him the first coalition service member to die during operations in support of the military campaign against ISIS.