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The US Marines Corps identified the three Marines who died following an aircraft incident


Updated August 08, 2017 07:03 AM EDT

The U.S. Marine Corps has identified three Marines who died after their Osprey aircraft crashed into Australia's waters, CNN reported.

According to a news release from the Marine Corps base in Camp Butler, Okinawa, the three deceased were named as 1st Lt. Benjamin Cross, 26, Cpl. Nathaniel Ordway, 21, and Pfc. Ruben Velasco, 19.

The Marine Corps launched "extensive search and rescue operations" following the incident, but were declared dead after their remains couldn't be recovered. "The loss of every Marine is felt across our entire Marine Corps family," Col. Tye Wallace, commanding officer, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.

The parents of and brother of Cross spoke to affiliate CBS13, describing their recent loss as "unbearable."

"We're going to miss FaceTime with him whenever he got a chance and certainly any leave that he would have gotten," Ben’s father Robert Cross said.

"We would also like to say the other family members that are going through this that received the same message that we did that are going through what we're going through right now, you’re in our thoughts and prayers as well and our hearts,” Ryan Cross, Ben’s brother, said.

A search and rescue operation was underway Saturday for three service members involved in the "mishap" of the Osprey aircraft off the east coast of Australia, U.S. Marine officials said.

Twenty-three of the 26 personnel aboard have been rescued, according to the Marine Expeditionary Force.

No Australian Defence Force personnel were on board the aircraft the Australian Defense Minister confirmed.

The statement did not provide further details, and it was not immediately clear whether there were any casualties.

In 2015, a U.S. Osprey crashed during a training exercise in Hawaii, killing two Marines. Last December, a U.S. military Osprey crash-landed off Japan’s southern island of Okinawa. Its five crew members were rescued safely.

And in January, three U.S. soldiers were wounded in the "hard landing" of an Osprey in Yemen.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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