Wednesday, April 11, 2012

MV-22 Osprey crashes in Morroco - two dead.

A New River-based MV-22 Osprey crashed Wednesday during a military exercise resulting in the death of two of the four military personnel on the aircraft, according to military officials.

The MV-22 Osprey was assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 261, according to a commander’s release.

The MV-22 Osprey was operating from the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) when it crashed in a Royal Moroccan military training area southwest of Agadir, Morocco, while participating in the bilateral Exercise African Lion, according to information from Headquarters Marine Corps.

Four U.S. Marine Corps personnel were on the aircraft at the time of the incident. Two personnel died as a result of their injuries sustained in the crash. The two other personnel were severely injured in the crash and are being medically evacuated for further treatment, the release states.

The Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group with the embarked 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, are participating in Exercise African Lion, a bilateral exercise conducted with Royal Moroccan military forces. The annual exercise is scheduled to be conducted April 8-17, 2012, in a designated military training area southwest of Agadir, Morocco, the release states.

Exercise African Lion is a theater security cooperation exercise led by U.S. Marine Forces Africa and is conducted annually between the U.S. military and the Kingdom of Morocco to further develop joint and combined capabilities. The exercise focuses on building capacity, capability and interoperability in field and aviation training, humanitarian civic assistance, amphibious landings, intelligence capacity building, and command post and peace support operations.

Specific information on the crash was not available at press time because the crash is still under investigation, said Capt. Kendra Hardesty, public affairs representative with Headquarters Marine Corps.

Hardesty said names of those killed are being withheld until next of kin has been notified.

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