News: Casualties from Osprey crash in Morocco identified
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. – Two 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Marines died and two were severely injured when an MV-22 Osprey crashed in a Royal Moroccan military training area southwest of Agadir, Morocco, while participating in bilateral Exercise African Lion, April 11.
Cpl. Robby A. Reyes and Cpl. Derek A. Kerns, both MV-22 crew chiefs with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 261, Marine Aircraft Group 26, died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash.
All four Marines involved were part of VMM-261, based at MCAS New River, N.C., and were the only personnel on the aircraft at the time of the crash. VMM-261 is currently attached to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit and was operating from the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima at the time of the incident.
“Being a Marine is inherently dangerous but this is a shock to all of us,” said Col. Frank Donovan, 24th MEU commanding officer. “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.”
Reyes joined the Marine Corps from Los Angeles, Calif., in December 2007 and was promoted to the rank of corporal in October 2010. His awards include the Global War on Terrorism Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation and a certificate of appreciation.
Kerns joined the Marine Corps from Fort Dix, N.J., in September 2008 and was promoted to the rank of corporal in December 2010. His awards include the Global War on Terrorism Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal and a certificate of appreciation.
Neither of the Marines had previously deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The two injured Marines have been medically evacuated for further treatment. For their privacy and the privacy of their families, their names will not be released.
The cause of the crash is currently under investigation.
For additional information about Exercise African Lion and the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit use the links below:
Exercise African Lion - http://www.dvidshub.net/feature/AfricanLion
24th Marine Expeditionary Unit: http://www.dvidshub.net/unit/24MEU#.T4cVkJpSToY
Point of contact for additional information is 1st Lt. Alejandro Aguilera, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, at (252) 466-4241.