US resumes air operations in Djibouti following crashes

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The U.S. military has resumed air operations in Djibouti, officials confirmed, after two aircraft crashed last week. 

The Djiboutian government and U.S. military agreed to halt operations after the crashes. An annual exercise known as Alligator Dagger was also canceled. 

{mosads}An AV-8B Harrier jet from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit crashed at Djibouti Ambouli International Airport last Tuesday, while a Marine CH-53 Super Stallion helicopter from the same unit sustained structural damage hours later during a landing at an approved exercise landing zone at Arta Beach, Djibouti.

U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said both incidents were being investigated, and that the command’s area of responsibility would not be affected by the crashes. 

Djibouti is a critical location for the U.S. in the war on terror in East Africa. 

The nation is home to the only permanent U.S. military base on the continent. The base holds roughly 4,000 U.S. troops and functions as a launch point for operations in Somalia and Yemen.

Four Marines also died in a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crash last Tuesday in Southern California, and an Air Force Thunderbirds pilot was killed in an F-16 crash last Wednesday in Nevada.

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