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Marines who died in V-22 crash in Morocco are identified

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. -- The military has identified the two Marines killed in the crash of an MV-22 Osprey in Morocco.

The Marine Corps says Cpl. Robby Reyes of Los Angeles and Cpl. Derek Kerns of Fort Dix, N.J., died Wednesday in the training exercise. Both were MV-22 crew chiefs and were based at New River Air Station in North Carolina.

Reyes had joined the Marines in 2007. Kerns joined a year later.

The military said it would not provide the names of two Marines who were injured in the crash.

A Marine spokesman said earlier that the Osprey crashed in a training area southwest of Agadir, Morocco, during a military exercise. The Marine Corps Times reported that the tilt-rotor aircraft had just unloaded a group of Marines at a training camp and was returning to the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima when it crashed.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

The exercise, African Lion, involves a joint U.S. military force of 1,200 working with the Moroccan military on anti-terrorism initiatives, combat tactics and humanitarian relief.

Commanding the exercise is Col. Roger Garay, commander of the , a reserve artillery outfit headquartered at Naval Air Station Fort Worth.

About 250 Marines from the 14th Marines, as well as a Marine KC-130 squadron at NAS Fort Worth, deployed in late March and early April for the exercise.

Garay, reached by the Star-Telegram via e-mail on Thursday, said that "our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends and fellow service members lost and injured in this accident."

He said the exercise would continue through its scheduled conclusion on Tuesday.

"To slow down the tempo of the exercise would only take away from the sacrifices and dedicated service of all our service members," Garay wrote.

While the accident did not involve anyone from the 14th Marines, it is likely that the wounded were transported to Germany aboard KC-130 aircraft from Fort Worth.

The Osprey is produced by Fort Worth-based Bell Helicopter and Boeing Co.

Staff writer Chris Vaughn contributed to this report from The Associated Press.

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