US Harrier jet crashes in East Africa; pilot ejects

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U.S. Marine Corps Harrier

180224-M-WP334-0010 ATLANTIC OCEAN (February 24, 2018) U.S. Navy Sailors assigned to the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) prepare a U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier, attached to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 162 (Reinforced), 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), for take-off, Feb. 24, 2018.The 26th MEU and Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group […]

MANAMA, Bahrain (CNN) — A United States Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier II jet crashed in Djibouti, in East Africa, on Tuesday, according to two defense officials. The pilot was able to eject and is currently being medically evaluated.

US Naval Forces Central Command, which helps oversee US operations in the region, confirmed the crash on Tuesday, saying it occurred during takeoff from Djibouti-Ambouli International Airport after 4 p.m. local time.

“Doctors said the pilot was in stable condition while being evaluated at Camp Lemonnier’s expeditionary medical facility,” Cdr. Bill Urban a spokesman for US Naval Forces Central Command told CNN.

“There are no reports of injuries to personnel on the ground nor damage to infrastructure at the airport. The airport is open,” Urban said, adding that the cause of the accident is under investigation.

The aircraft had been embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima. 

A defense official said that the jet was supporting Alligator Dagger, a training exercise in international waters off the coast of Djibouti.

The United States has a large military presence in Djibouti based at Camp Lemonnier where some 4,000 US personnel are stationed.

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