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Navy Identifies Marine Lost at Sea

From a U.S. Naval Forces Central Command News Release

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WASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2014 — Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command announced yesterday the death of a Marine who was supporting operations in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit as part of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group.

Marine Corps Cpl. Jordan L. Spears, 21, of Memphis, Indiana, was lost at sea Oct. 1, 2014, in the North Persian Gulf. He was assigned to Marine Tiltrotor Squadron 163, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California.

U.S. forces in the North Persian Gulf suspended a search and rescue operation for Spears Oct. 2, after efforts to locate him were unsuccessful.

Spears went into the water Oct. 1 when the aircraft he was aboard, a U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey, appeared to lose power and descended to the surface of the ocean shortly after takeoff from the USS Makin Island. Another air crewman also exited the aircraft at the same time and was safely recovered. He is in stable condition aboard the Makin Island.

The pilot of the aircraft was eventually able to regain control and safely land back aboard Makin Island. There were four personnel aboard the aircraft when it took off, two pilots and two enlisted aircrew. Spears was one of the two enlisted aircrew who exited the aircraft when it appeared the Osprey might crash into the ocean.

U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard personnel conducted an extensive search of the area using all available assets, which continued throughout the night of Oct. 1, and into the next day.

The Osprey's crew was participating in flight operations in support of its current mission at the time of the mishap.

The Navy and Marine Corps will investigate the cause of the incident.

USS Makin Island, with embarked elements of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is currently on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, where it is supporting operations in Iraq and Syria and throughout the region.