MOROCCO, Africa -- Two Marines were killed and two were injured when an MV-22 Osprey they were flying in crashed in the vicinity of Cap Draa, Morocco, on Wednesday while participating in the bi-lateral training exercise called African Lion 12.
The aircraft had just dropped off Marines at a training event and was conducting a routine flight when the mishap occurred. The casualties were immediately cared for by U.S. Navy medical personnel on the ground then evacuated using C-130 transport planes to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany for follow-on care. “Being a Marine is inherently dangerous but this is a shock to all of us. Our primary focus right now is making sure our Marines and their families are taken care of. We send our prayers and sincere condolences to the families of these Marines and mourn with them through this tragic event,” said Col. Frank Donovan, 24th MEU’s commanding officer. The aircraft and Marines involved are part of the 24th MEU’s aviation element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron VMM-261 (Reinforced), based out of Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C. The cause of the crash is currently under investigation. The 24th MEU and is currently planned to continue its participation in African Lion 12, which is scheduled to end next week. The 24th MEU deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group in March on a regularly scheduled, 8-month deployment to serve as a theater reserve and crisis response force. African Lion 12 was the first exercise of their deployment after crossing the Atlantic.