Pause ordered in Marine aircraft flights in wake of crash

U.S. Marine MV-22B Osprey aircraft land June 29, 2017, on the deck of the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship off the coast from Sydney during events marking the start of Talisman Saber 2017, a biennial joint military exercise between the United States and Australia. (Jason Reed/Pool Photo via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Marine Corps commandant has ordered all of the Marine aviation units to stop flight operations for a 24-hour period at some point in the next two weeks to focus on safety and combat readiness.

Gen. Robert Neller’s order comes days after three Marines were killed when their MV-22 Osprey aircraft crashed into the sea off the coast of Australia. The Osprey had launched from the USS Bonhomme Richard, and 23 of 26 personnel on the aircraft were rescued.

The flying squadrons will review flight incidents and other crash investigations to make Marines better aware of procedures and best practices. The goal is to make sure units are capable, safe and ready.

Units will determine the timing of the 24-hour stand-down so it will not affect any combat operations.