The military has now released the names of the New River Marines killed Wednesday after an Osprey crashed while training in Morocco.
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 their injuries.
The military says Reyes joined the Marine Corps from Los Angeles 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.
The two other Marines injured have been medically evacuated for further treatment. The military is not releasing their names out of privacy for them and their families.
The cause of Wednesday's fatal crash is still under investigation. Officials with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit from Camp Lejeune say the Osprey went down right after dropping off Marines at a training exercise.
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Officials say the aircraft and Marines involved are part of the 24th MEU’s aviation element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron VMM-261 (Reinforced), based at New River.
According to a press release, the Osprey crashed during a routine flight after dropping off Marines at a training event. The release refers to the crash as a "mishap."
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.
In addition to the two Marines killed, two others were seriously injured. There's no word at this time on their condition. The names of the four have not been released.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
“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 24th MEU deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group in March. The training in Morocco was the first exercise in their eight-month deployment.
The Marine Corps confirms two Marines were killed and two severely injured Wednesday in a crash of an Osprey aircraft attached to Camp Lejeune during a training mission overseas.
The aircraft was attached to Camp Lejeune's 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which includes the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 261 out of Marine Corps Air Station New River. A Mmarine spokesman says the Osprey crashed in a military training area southwest of Agadir, Morocco, after taking off from the amphibious assault ship Iwo Jima.
The names of the two Marines killed and two injured have not been released yet, and the cause is still under investigation. The MEU is in Morocco supporting exercise African Lion, an annual 10-day joint exercise with Royal Moroccan Armed Forces.