Marine Corps grounds aircraft for 24 hours following deadly crashes

Neller directs all aviation units to take 24-hour operational pause

General Robert Neller, commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, directed aviation units to time the suspensions in a way that would not disrupt "operational commitments", the Marine Corps said in a statement on Friday.

The move affects about 800 total aircraft, and does not include those now deployed, a U.S. Marine Corps spokesman confirmed to Fox News.

Three additional Marines died Saturday in the crash of an MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft just off the coast of Australia.

The Defense Department pointed out that commanders have the discretion to determine when the reset will take place within the two-week window.

The U.S. Marine Corps on Friday ordered its aircraft squadrons to suspend flight operations for 24 hours sometime during the next two weeks to review procedures after two of its planes crashed, killing dozens. The MV-22 crashed while on final approach to USS Green Bay, a Navy amphibious ship off the east coast of Australia.

The decision came a day after the U.S. Marine Corps said in a statement that it had determined that Ospreys are "safe to fly", resuming operations after a 48-hour pause.

Thirteen marines were killed by terrorists in Marawi last June in what is considered as the most intense firefight since clashes broke out in the besieged city. In July, 15 Marines and a sailor were killed in the crash of a Marine Reserve KC-130T in Mississippi.

As yet, investigators have not announced a cause for either crash.

The commandant wants Marines to focus on the "fundamentals of safe flight operations", with pilots and their crews discussing historical case studies culled from completed investigations "in order to bring awareness and best practices to the fleet". The Marines also temporarily grounded AV-8B Harrier and Osprey aircraft in Japan past year following non-fatal wrecks.

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