Update 09:35: A second Marine has been recovered from the waters off the coast of Japan. He was declared dead soon thereafter.
The search and rescue operations continue for the remaining five U.S. Marines who were aboard the KC-130 Hercules and F/A-18 Hornet involved in a mishap about 200 miles off of the coast of Japan around 2:00 a.m. Dec. 6.” A Marine Corps statement reads.
“U.S. 7th Fleet is supporting ongoing search and rescue efforts with a Navy P-8A Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft flying out of Kadena Air Force Base, along with assistance from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Japanese Coast Guard. We are thankful for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s, the Japanese Coast Guard’s, and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s efforts as they continue to respond to the search and rescue operation.”
The Marine Corps also confirmed that the incident occurred during aerial refueling exercises, just as many postulated based on the types of aircraft involved in the incident.
Update 20:48: One Marine has been rescued about 200 miles off the coast of Japan. Unconfirmed reports indicate that there were five marines aboard the KC-130 Tanker and two aboard the Hornet. The search is continuing for the remaining six Marines.
One of the personnel involved in the mishap is being evaluated by competent medical authorities at @MCASIwakuni. The search and rescue operations continue for the remaining six Marines.
— U.S. Marines (@USMC) December 6, 2018
“We are thankful for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s efforts as they immediately responded in the search and rescue operation,” Marine Corps public affairs said in a press release.
Search and rescue operations are now underway for the crews of a U.S. Marine Corps KC-130 and F/A-18 fighter jet that both went down early Thursday morning off the coast of Japan.
“Search and rescue operations continue for U.S. Marine aircraft that were involved in a mishap off the coast of Japan around 2:00 a.m. Dec. 6. The aircraft involved in the mishap had launched from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and were conducting regularly scheduled training when the mishap occurred. Japanese search and rescue aircraft immediately responded to aid in recovery,” a Marine Corp press release stated.
“The circumstances of the mishap are currently under investigation,” the release states. “There is no additional information available at this time.”
The Marine Corps also issued a brief statement on Twitter regarding the incident:
Search and rescue operations continue for a KC-130 and an F/A-18 that were involved in a mishap off of the coast of Japan around 2:00 a.m. Dec. 6.
The circumstances of the mishap are currently under investigation.
— U.S. Marines (@USMC) December 5, 2018
Thus far, no other details about the incident have been released. Fighter Sweep will continue to update this story as new information arises.
Feature image courtesy of Picryl