The military's force-wide Osprey stand-down following a crash that killed eight special operations airmen last month has limited how the aircraft can be used for operations and training — even as global tensions in the Middle East, Europe and the Pacific grow.
The Marine Corps and Air Force told Military.com this week that as units conduct maintenance and inspections on grounded Ospreys, some of the most forward and elite units are limiting their use while deployed. The Navy — which flies the fewest number of Ospreys and uses them mostly for logistics purposes — said that its “operation schedule” remains unchanged for now.
The grounding comes as U.S. forces have faced near daily attacks in the Middle East from Iran-aligned militants since Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel in October and sparked a war in Gaza. The stand-down was ordered after the most recent deadly Osprey crash in Japan and renewed questions about the aircraft's safety, even as some branches told Military.com they remain confident in the platform.
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The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit has been reported to be operating near the waters off Israel and in the Red Sea since October in response to rising tensions in the region. A press release earlier this month showed elements of the unit training with Greek Marines in the Mediterranean.
The Marine Corps…