The Defense Department office that oversees the military’s tiltrotor aircraft program is coordinating with the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps as they conduct an operational standdown of all CV-22 Osprey variants, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said today.

Singh said the decision by the services to ground their platforms was taken out of an abundance of caution as the Air Force continues its investigation following last week’s CV-22A Osprey mishap off the shore of Yakushima Island, Japan that killed eight airmen.

She added that the decision by each of the services to conduct the operational standdown reflects the priority Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III has placed on operational safety.

“The secretary fully supports the services and their [decision], out of an abundance of caution, to stand these aircraft down,” she said.  

Singh added that while there “will always be an inherent risk in military aviation,” DOD consistently strives to mitigate that risk. 

“We will continue to maintain a high level of operational standardization for all of our pilots and all of our crew,” she said. 

She said each service will determine guidelines for resuming flight operations in coordination with the DOD’s V-22 joint program office after conducting operational safety investigations within their fleets.  

The Air Force Special Operations Command is leading the investigation into last week’s mishap.  

Singh echoed Austin’s condolences for the family and loved ones of the service members who were lost in the crash.

“The entire Department of Defense mourns alongside the families and the loved ones of those who lost their lives today in the service of their country,” Austin said in a statement this week. “My heart also goes out to those who were serving alongside these brave men and women in Japan.”

Singh added that the department is grateful to the Japanese government for their assistance in the search and recovery efforts.  

“We will continue to work with them on sharing information and safety procedures during the investigation,” she said.

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