Utah National Guard members leave for Morocco for disaster exercise in the aftermath of deadly earthquake

Sep 9, 2023, 11:16 AM | Updated: Sep 12, 2023, 10:52 am

Gov. Spencer Cox stand with the Utah National Guard. Sep. 9, 2023 (Gov. Spencer Cox)...

Gov. Spencer Cox stand with the Utah National Guard. Sep. 9, 2023 (Gov. Spencer Cox)

(Gov. Spencer Cox)

Live at 11:20 on Dave & Dujanovic. The difference between a magnitude 5.7 and 6.8 earthquake. 


SALT LAKE CITY —  Over 1,000 people were killed with officials expecting the toll to rise after a rare and deadly earthquake hit Morocco late Friday night.

The Associated Press reported that the magnitude-6.8 quake sent people fleeing to the streets from their beds. The earthquake damaged the famous Koutoubia Mosque, over eight centuries old.  

In response to the disaster, Gov. Spencer Cox has announced that members of the Utah National Guard will leave Saturday to Morocco, though The Utah National Guard has said they have not received direct instruction to respond in Marrakech.

Cox wrote in an X post, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Kingdom of Morocco in the aftermath of yesterday’s devastating earthquake… Utah stands ready to help through our strong military ties with the Kingdom.”

He later posted that he spent some time with the Utah National Guard in preparation for their travels, and thanked them and their families dedication to serving the United States. 


In a press release, the Utah National Guard wrote that they had a planned visit to the country starting Sep. 9 for over a year now. In Morocco, they will conduct an exercise called the “Moroc Mantlet.” 

“The exercise is designed to increase capacity and increase expertise in disaster recovery and response,” the release stated.

“These exercise participants stand ready to assist Moroccan authorities in response this tragic earthquake,” the release continued. “But will continue their normally planned missions until directed otherwise.”

The Utah National Guard has had a long history with the North African country. The Utah/Morocco State Partnership Program was formed in 2003, leading humanitarian and training efforts between the two countries. 

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Utah National Guard members leave for Morocco for disaster exercise in the aftermath of deadly earthquake