MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command announced today 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.
Cpl. Jordan L. Spears, 21, of Memphis, Indiana, was lost at sea Oct 1, 2014, in the North Arabian 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 Arabian Gulf suspended a search and rescue operation for Cpl. Spears Oct. 2, after efforts to locate him were unsuccessful.
Cpl. Spears went into the water Oct. 1, when the aircraft he was aboard appeared to lose power and descended to the surface of the ocean shortly after takeoff from USS Makin Island (LHD 8). Another air crewman also exited the aircraft at the same time and was safely recovered. He is in stable condition aboard Makin Island.
The pilot of the aircraft, a U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey, 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. Cpl. 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 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.
For more information, media may contact the I Marine Expeditionary Force Public Affairs office at (760) 763-7039 or after hours at (760) 207-5865.