Support our mission

A Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier II jet crashed Sunday while attempting to land on the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima in the Mediterranean Sea north of Crete.

The pilot, whom officials haven’t named, ejected from the single-seat aircraft and was rescued within eight minutes, suffering only “minimal injuries,” according to a Navy press release.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

The aircraft and pilot are part of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which is embarked on the Iwo Jima and its seven-ship group. The aircraft was taking part in a routine training exercise when it crashed.

The Iwo Jima group is one month into a six-month deployment to the Middle East in support of maritime security operations, according to the release.

The Harrier, which is used by the Marine Corps for air-to-ground and air-to-air missions, can take off and land vertically from ships and land. The service has seven operational squadrons of Harriers with 16 aircraft each, and one training squadron.

Stripes in 7

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up