Jonas Gahr Stoere wrote on Twitter that they were killed in the accident on Friday night. The cause is being investigated, but Norwegian police have reported bad weather in the area.
“Soldiers took part in the NATO Cold Response exercise,” said Gahr Stoere. “Our heartfelt condolences go to the families of the soldiers, relatives and fellow soldiers in their unit.”
The plane was a V-22B Osprey belonging to the US Marine Corps, the Norwegian Armed Forces said.
“The aircraft had a crew of four and was on a training mission in Nordland County” in northern Norway, according to a statement.
He was on his way north to Bodoe, where he was scheduled to land shortly before 6pm on Friday. The plane crashed at Graetaedalen in Beiarn, south of Bodoe. Police said they immediately launched a search and rescue mission. At 1:30 a.m. Saturday, police arrived at the scene and confirmed that the four-member crew had died.
“We can confirm that an incident occurred with an MV-22B Osprey aircraft of the Marine Corps,” the US Marines tweeted. “The causes of the incident are being investigated and additional details will be provided if any.”
The annual NATO exercises in Norway are not related to the war in Ukraine. This year they include about 30,000 soldiers, 220 aircraft and 50 ships from 27 countries. Finland and Sweden, which are not members of NATO, are also participating.
The exercises started on March 14 and end on April 1.
The cause of the crash was not immediately clear, but the Norwegian Armed Forces said the Cold Reaction “would continue as planned, with the measures we must take due to the weather conditions”.
Police have launched an investigation into the crash and accident committee members and police officials were due to arrive at the scene on Saturday.
“The weather is very bad in the area to complete the work on the spot, but the police will do it again as soon as the weather allows,” Ivar Bo Nilsson, director of operations from the Norland Police Department, told reporters.
Lt. Gen. Yngve Odlo, head of the Norwegian Armed Forces’ operational headquarters, said the Cold Response would continue despite the crash.
“Right now there is a full focus on ending the rescue operation, on caring for people and then there will be a normal process with causation,” Odlo was quoted as saying by Norwegian public television network NRK.
The first Cold Response exercise took place in 2006 and the exercises have been conducted a total of eight times over the years. They take place in southeastern, central and northern Norway.
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Norway plane crash: 4 US soldiers killed when military aircraft goes down in Norway during NATO drill; unrelated to Ukraine Source link Norway plane crash: 4 US soldiers killed when military aircraft goes down in Norway during NATO drill; unrelated to Ukraine