images: USMC III MEF
USMC Statement issued tonight:
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP BUTLER, Okinawa, Japan – The Royal Australian Navy Clearance Diving team completed embark today aboard HMAS Melville to commence recovery operations near the site where an MV-22 Osprey entered the water on Aug. 5. Dive team members finalized planning in conjunction with the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy aboard USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6).
The dive team plans to commence recovery operations using a remote operating vehicle this evening. The location of the MV-22 was detected on Aug. 6 by Melville using its hydrographic capabilities.
"I want to thank the Australian Defence Force, and the crew of the HMAS Melville in particular, for their assistance in the search and recovery effort of our MV-22 that went down off the coast of Australia," said LtGen Lawrence Nicholson, Commanding General, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
"They volunteered their help before we could even ask, demonstrating their friendship and value as international partners. The crew of the Melville and its assets have been invaluable in the recovery effort. On behalf of the Marines, sailors, and families of III MEF, I thank you for your support."