Late yesterday, the Department of Defense made it official. The government reclassified the death of Marine Cpl. Jordan L. Spears, 21, as the first death associated with Operation Inherent Resolve, the fight against the ISIS/ISISL terrorist organization in Iraq and Syria. He was initially classified as a non-global war on terrorism casualty, lost at sea.
Cpl. Spears and one other Marine made a split second decision to jump from the MV-22 Osprey they were in when it lost power shortly after take-off from the U.S.S. Makin Island on Oct. 1. The aircraft appeared to be on a collision course with the Arabian Gulf. Fortunately, the pilot was able to regain control of the aircraft, by then, the two enlisted crew members had already exited the aircraft.
The Osprey was part of a deployed complement of aircraft onboard Makin Island (LHD 8), along with elements of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit. The other unnamed crew member was safely recovered. No one onboard the U.S.S. Makin Island was injured. The Osprey’s crew was participating in flight operations supporting the current CENTCOM operations.
The Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard all participated in the search efforts for Cpl. Spear. No resources were spared in the search. The Navy and the Marines are investigating the incident.
Cpl. Jordan L. Spears’ home town of record is Memphis, Indiana; a small town bordering Kentucky with a population of less than 500. 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.
The Department of Defense did not officially name the current conflict Operation Inherent Resolve until October 15. By then, Cpl. Spears had already lost his life for his country. Additional information, including previous deployments, commendations and marital status for Cpl. Spears is available to new sources by contacting contact the I Marine Expeditionary Force Public Affairs Office at (760) 763-7039 or after hours, Pacific Time, at (760) 207-5865.
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