U.S. marines to ground Osprey aircraft for 24 hours

Jiji Press WASHINGTON (Jiji Press) — The U.S. Marine Corps said Friday that it will ground all aviation units for 24 hours in the wake of recent accidents including a fatal crash off Australia of an Osprey tilt-rotor transporter from a base in Okinawa Prefecture.

Gen. Robert Neller, commandant of the Marine Corps, issued a directive for the operational reset to have all crews “focus on the fundamentals of safe flight operations, standardization and combat readiness,” the Marines said in a statement.

The 24-hour “operational reset will occur within the next two weeks and be taken at the discretion of commanders,” based on their units’ operational commitments, the statement said.

Such operational pauses are “not uncommon and viewed as a responsible step to refresh and review best practices and procedures so our units remain capable, safe and ready,” it noted.

Prior to the announcement by the Marines, the Japanese government retracted its demand for a voluntary ban on Osprey flights in the country, which it had made in response to the Osprey crash on Aug. 5, which killed three of the 26 crew members.

Japan and the United States are now working to allow Ospreys to join the ongoing joint drills between the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and the U.S. military in Hokkaido.Speech

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