The incident occurred during night training between the Australian and American armies on Lindeman Island on Friday evening. Defense Minister Richard Marles announced that the search and rescue mission had begun immediately BBC.
The crew of four has not yet been found
– Marles said in the press conference on Saturday morning.
He added that the MRH-90 Taipan helicopter crashed near the island at approximately 10:30 pm local time.
“All our thoughts are with our families and their families,” he said, adding, “We hope to receive good news during the day.”
At the same press conference, Angus Campbell, chief of the Defense Forces, said it was a “terrible moment”.
We are currently focused on finding our employees and supporting their families and the rest of our team
According to him, they appreciate the support provided by civilian agencies, police, the public and their American allies in the search and rescue operation.
The MRH-90 Taipan crashed during Exercise Talisman Saber, the largest bilateral military exercise between Australia and the United States.
There is a pause in military training
Defense officials announced a halt to the training, which also includes soldiers from Japan, France, Germany and South Korea.
“I have initiated an immediate pause in Australia for all Operation Talisman Saber participants to contact their loved ones,” said Brigadier Damian Hill, the exercise’s director of operations.
The military exercises have already entered their second week, and will include large-scale logistics, ground combat, amphibious landings, and air operations. It is expected to be completed on August 4.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Minister Lloyd Austin are currently in Queensland negotiating the AUKUS defense agreement, under which the US will supply Australia with nuclear submarine technology.
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