The Marine Corps said Friday that it has recovered the bodies of all three Marines who were killed this month when an MV-22 Osprey aircraft crashed off the coast of Australia.
The remains of Capt. Benjamin R. Cross were sent to Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii to join the remains of two enlisted Marines, Cpl. Nathaniel F. Ordway and Lance Cpl. Ruben P. Velasco, which were recovered earlier.
"From Hickam, fallen service members are prepared for transport to their final destination as determined by the families," III Marine Expeditionary Force said in a release. "A solemn, dignified transfer of remains continues to be the priority as our fallen Marines are returned to their families."
The Osprey went down off Queensland on Aug. 5 with 26 troops aboard while participating in an exercise with the USS Bonhomme Richard. It was part of a squadron with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit based in Okinawa, Japan. Twenty-three of the 26 were pulled from the water.
The crash was the latest aviation disaster for the Marines this summer. A Marine KC-130 tanker aircraft crashed into a Mississippi field July 10, killing 15 Marines and a Navy corpsman.
After the incidents, Gen. Robert Neller, the Marine commandant, ordered a 24-hour pause in all aviation operations to review safety procedures. Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, the House Armed Services chairman, said it was proof that the military is in the midst of a readiness crisis.