The Marine Corps canceled the remainder of military exercise “Alligator Dagger” after two accidents or “mishaps” occurred on April 3 in Djibouti, Africa. Both incidents were tied to the 26th MEU. According to one news outlet, the government of Djibouti requested the halt. Both accidents are under investigation.
“U.S. air operations in Djibouti are on hold and U.S. Naval Forces Central Command has canceled the remainder of exercise Alligator Dagger in response to two separate aviation incidents in Djibouti on April 3, 2018.” Command release from April 5, according to the Marine Corps Times.
“Alligator Dagger is a routine, scheduled training event involving U.S. personnel and operations in the vicinity of Djibouti and Arta Beach Range. Both incidents are currently under a joint investigation, and we will provide more information when able. A safety stand-down has been initiated for all exercise participants…Routine operations for other units assigned to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command are unaffected by this cancellation, and U.S. Naval personnel continue to conduct maritime security operations throughout the region.” Naval Command Press Release.
An AV-8B Harrier crashed shortly after takeoff from Djibouti International Airport at approximately 4:00 p.m. local time on April 3. The pilot was able to eject, and was hospitalized for evaluation. He has since been released.
A little over two hours later, a CH-53 Super Stallion “suffered structural damage” while landing at an “approved exercise landing zone at Arta Beach, Djibouti,” according to the Marine Corps Times.
At the request of the Djiboutian Govt, the US military has halted air operations in Djibouti, a critical location for military ops in Somalia, after 2 accidents involving military aircraft, defense officials tell CNN, causing the military to cancel the Alligator Dagger exercise
— Ryan Browne (@rabrowne75) April 5, 2018
Pentagon: U.S. air operations in Djibouti grounded, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command has cancelled remainder of exercise Alligator Dagger in response to two crashes this week
— Lucas Tomlinson (@LucasFoxNews) April 5, 2018
US military flights grounded in Djibouti, Alligator Dagger exercise canceled following crashes of AV-8B Harrier at Djibouti’s international airport & CH-53 suffered structural damage during a landing in Arta Beach. https://t.co/1HxiJ4JBRt
— David Takaki (@Truth2Pwer) April 5, 2018
Naval Forces Central Command on Thursday put air operations “on hold” and called off the remainder of the Defense Department’s Alligator Dagger exercise. https://t.co/IICqFEBac0
— Military.com (@Militarydotcom) April 5, 2018
— The Defense Post (@DefensePost) April 5, 2018