An MV-22 Osprey operating from the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) crashed in a Royal Moroccan military training area southwest of Agadir, Morocco, while participating in the bilateral Exercise African Lion.
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 MV-22 Osprey was assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 261 based at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River, N.C. The squadron was operating from the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) at the time of the incident.
The Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) with the embarked 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), 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.
Exercise African Lion is a bilateral, 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 will focus on building capacity, capability, and interoperability in the following areas: field and aviation training, humanitarian civic assistance, amphibious landings, intelligence capacity building, and command post and peace support operations.
The cause of the incident is under investigation.