US Army grounds aviators after 12 soldiers die in recent crashes
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The helicopter went down during joint military exercises with the United States.
The search continues for four missing crew members after an Australian Army helicopter went down during joint military exercises with the United States.
The helicopter went down around 11 p.m. Friday off of Queensland near Lindeman Island, which is a Great Barrier Reef tourist spot. Some debris believed to be from the aircraft has been recovered.
In a meeting with their Australian counterparts, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken paid tribute to the missing crew members, who are all men, the Associated Press said.
"It’s always tough when you have accidents in training, but... the reason that we train to such high standards is so that we can be successful and we can protect lives when we are called to answer any kind of crisis," Austin said.
Blinken said, "We’re so grateful to them for their dedication, for their service, for everything they’ve been doing to stand up for the freedom that we share, and that is what unites us more than anything else."
In January, Australia announced it would discontinue the use of those MRH-90 Taipan helicopters by December 2024 because they have been plagued with issues and proven unreliable.
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The aircraft went down during routine training exercises.
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