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Following Recent Crashes, Marine Corps Orders Pause In Flight Operations

A U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey aircraft lands on the deck of the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship last June off the coast of Sydney, Australia. An MV-22 Osprey that had launched from the USS Bonhomme was conducting regularly scheduled operations when it crashed into the water off Australia's east coast August 5.

Marine Corps aviation units have been ordered to ground all aircraft for 24 hours to focus on safety.

Gen. Robert Neller, Marine Corps commandant, said unit commanders could schedule the pause at their discretion within a two-week period. A statement said the halt to flight operations will not affect operational commitments.

The order comes after two recent crashes of Marine Corps aircraft.

Last weekend, a Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey crashed off the coast of Australia. Three Marines died in the crash.

July 10, a Marine Corps C-130 crashed in Mississippi. All 16 aboard were killed: 15 Marines and a Navy corpsman.

As yet, investigators have not announced a cause for either crash.

The Marine Corps statement said aviation units will use the 24-hour suspension:

"...to focus on the fundamentals of safe flight operations, standardization, and combat readiness. The intent is for flying squadrons to review selected incidents which occurred enterprise-wide and study historical examples of completed investigations in order to bring awareness and best practices to the fleet.

Pauses in operations are not uncommon and are viewed as a responsible step to refresh and review tbest practices and procedures so our units remain capable, safe, and ready."

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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