A U.S. Marine, Corporal Jordan Spears, age 21, of Memphis, Indiana, was the first American killed in U.S. military operations against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. He died after a flight mishap over the northern Gulf this week. Spears was a crewman aboard a V-MS 22 Osprey tilt rotor aircraft which flew off the USS Makin Island and went into the sea when the aircraft lost power shortly after it took off, according to Navy reports on Friday.
The V-22 dropped to the surface of the ocean through the mishap on Wednesday. Spears and a second crewman went into the water when it seemed the tilt rotor airplane was almost ready to crash, but the two pilots were able to recover control of the craft and land it back on board the Makin Island.
Only one air crewman was recovered and listed to be in stable condition on board the Makin Island. A search and rescue operation for the missing Marine was halted near the end of the week and the Navy declared that Spears was believed lost at sea.
Admiral John Kirby, who also works as a press secretary for the Pentagon, established on Friday that the U.S.Marine’s unit had been supporting existing operations in the Gulf, including the present battle against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. He stated that the ship was in the Gulf assisting Central Command operations.
Admiral Kirby explained that some operations included maneuvers which were occurring in both Iraq and Syria, at least indirectly. So that meant there was no question that Spear’s death was related to the operations that were happening in some way. Both the Marine Corps and also the Navy are investigating the cause of the calamity.
The Marines Corps stated that Spears first enlisted in 2010 and happened to be on his first deployment. It was mentioned that a memorial service would be held on board the USS Makin Island. That is being hosted by Bahrain on a military mission in order to provide U.S. military support against the Islamic State group located in Syria and Iraq.
The MS V-22 aircraft takes off and lands like a helicopter, but the twin propellers located at the end of the wings slope after taking off. This function allows it to fly in a similar way that an airplane does. The V-22 had a rocky beginning due to mishaps during its development, but it has recently won praise for its presentation since arriving into service.
Spears and the second aircraft crewman bailed out of the MS-22 Osprey after they took off from the ship on Wednesday. The pilot was able to regain control and return to the ship but he was unable to be rescued. However, the second crewman was found and was later listed as being in stable condition.
Corporal Spears belonged to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit out of Camp Pendleton, in California. He was from Indiana and the first American to be killed in U.S. military operations against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The author of this article also lives in Indiana and only resides about 10 minutes away from Memphis so this story is personally hitting home extremely hard.
By Kimberly Ruble