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Tipsheet

Four Marines Identified in Deadly Osprey Crash During NATO Drill

II Marine Expeditionary Force

The United States Marine Corps has identified the four service members killed in a helicopter crash on Friday during a NATO exercise in Norway as Capt. Matthew J. Tomkiewicz, 27, of Fort Wayne, Indiana; Capt. Ross A. Reynolds, 27, of Leominster, Massachusetts; Gunnery Sgt. James W. Speedy, 30, of Cambridge, Ohio; and Cpl. Jacob M. Moore, 24, of Catlettsburg, Kentucky.

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All four, according to a release, were assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 261, Marine Aircraft Group 26, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina. 

A letter from Maj. Gen. Michael Cederholm — commander of the Marine Aircraft Wing — to families of the fallen noted that "[t]he pilots and crew were committed to accomplishing their mission and serving a cause greater than themselves," according to Stars and Stripes. "We will continue to execute the mission while keeping these Marines and their service on the forefront of our minds," the letter continued. "We will never allow these Marines' sacrifice to go unnoticed or unappreciated."

The men who gave their lives in service to our country and the freedom of others leave behind legacies of selflessness, as remembrances from their families and communities show (via Stars and Stripes): 

Tomkiewicz, of Fort Wayne, Ind., joined the Marine Corps in 2015 and served as an MV-22B Osprey pilot. His decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

Tomkiewicz is survived by his wife, Lauren, according to the Fort Wayne, Ind. newspaper The Journal Gazette.

He attended Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., where he joined the Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Class hoping to go to officer candidate school, with the ultimate goal of flying for the service after graduation, according to his LinkedIn page.

"We ask all Hoosiers to surround the family with love and never-ending appreciation for all Captain Tomkiewicz gave to our state and nation,” Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said in a statement, according to The Journal Gazette.

Reynolds, of Leominster, Mass., joined the Corps in 2017.

He was remembered Monday as an active community member who was involved in Boy Scouts of America, earning the rank of Eagle Scout, and who participated in veterans’ events “with [Reynolds] usually holding the flag,” according to a Facebook post by Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella.

Reynolds and his wife, Lana, were married Feb. 9, according to a post on Lana Reynolds’ Facebook page.

In a statement sent to the Boston TV station WBTS, Reynolds’ family said they were devastated by the loss and trying to come to terms with his death.

"Ross was so caring, compassionate, and committed, not only to his country, but also to being the best son, brother, husband, son-in-law, nephew, cousin, uncle, brother-in-law, friend and Marine that he could be," the family said in the statement.

Speedy, of Cambridge, Ohio, had been a Marine since 2009, and served as an administrative specialist. His decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with two gold stars, the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and the Marine Corps Drill Instructor Ribbon.

On her Facebook page, Speedy’s wife, Chyanne, posted early Monday a photo of the couple with the note: “I love you so much.” The couple have a daughter.

Moore, of Catlettsburg, Ky., served as an MV-22B Osprey crew chief after joining the Corps in 2018. His decorations include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

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Other memorials were shared to Twitter as communities and our country's leaders mourn the loss of these brave Marines.

The helicopter crash occurred during NATO Exercise Cold Response, a biennial event "designed to enhance military capabilities and allied cooperation during a high-intensity warfighting scenario in a challenging Arctic environment with rugged terrain and extreme cold weather."

An investigation into the circumstances surrounding the deadly crash remains underway, though Norwegian police cited bad weather in the area as a potential cause, according to The Associated Press. 

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