A CV-22B Osprey arrives at Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 5, 2018.

A CV-22B Osprey arrives at Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 5, 2018. (Stars and Stripes)

WASHINGTON (Tribune News Service) — The Government Accountability Office will probe the safety of the V-22 Osprey at the request of lawmakers after the death of eight airmen in a November crash off the coast of Japan.

The Air Force Times first reported the probe this week, citing a letter from the nonpartisan, independent, GAO to in response to a request from House Armed Services Committee members Reps. Mike Waltz, R- Fla., and John Garamendi, D-Calif.

Last month, Massachusetts Sens. Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren and U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield, called on the Pentagon to probe the Osprey’s safety in December, after the crash in Japan that claimed the life of Massachusetts Air Force Staff Sgt. Jacob Galliher.

Galliher, from Pittsfield and a 24-year-old father of two sons, was killed in the V-22 Osprey crash in the Pacific, along with seven other Air Force members.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation, but preliminary findings determined it was likely the result of equipment failure, not pilot error, Stars and Stripes previously reported.

In the last two years, in several V-22 Osprey accidents, 13 service members have died.

That includes another serviceman from Massachusetts, Marine Corps Capt. Ross A. Reynolds.

Reynolds, 27, of Leominster, was one of four Marines who died when an Osprey aircraft crashed during a NATO exercise in Norway on March 19, 2023.

Neal, Markey and Warren issued a joint statement Thursday:

“We are pleased that the GAO will be investigating the safety record of the V-22 Osprey program. This is an important step to get answers for the Galliher family and everyone who has been affected by ongoing and serious safety issues. Staff Sgt. Galliher served our nation with honor and pride, and our hearts are with every community that has lost a service member to senseless accidents involving the V-22 Ospreys. We look forward to responses from the Department of Defense to our December letter, and we will continue to do everything in our power to prevent such tragedies from ever happening again.”

©2024 Advance Local Media LLC.


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