By Stars and Stripes. The Marine Corps has ended an extensive search for five Marines missing after their KC-130J Hercules collided with an F/A-18 Hornet last week off Japan’s southern coast.
“After an update from the Joint Personnel Recovery Center, and a review of all available information, I have made the determination to end the search and rescue operations for the crew of our [Hercules] … and to declare that these Marine warriors are deceased,” III Expeditionary Force commander Lt. Gen. Eric Smith said in a statement posted Tuesday afternoon to the organization’s official Facebook page.
“Every possible effort was made to recover our crew and I hope the families of these selfless Americans will find comfort in the incredible efforts made by US, Japanese, and Australian forces during the search,” he added.
Seven Marines were involved in the training accident, which occurred just before 2 a.m. Thursday about 200 miles south of Muroto Cape on Shikoku Island, U.S. and Japanese officials said. (Read more from “Search Called off for Missing Marines” HERE)
U.S. Marines Declare 5 Service Members Dead, Ending Search After ‘Aviation Mishap’
By NPR. Five days after a pair of U.S. military aircraft crashed off the coast of Japan, the Marine Corps has called off its search-and-rescue efforts for five of the crew members involved. The III Marine Expeditionary Force declared the service members dead in an announcement released on Tuesday local time. . .
The announcement marks a tragic conclusion to a search operation that began Thursday, after what the Marines have described as an “aviation mishap” during a routine overnight training exercise, between an F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet and a KC-130 Hercules refueling aircraft.
The Corps said it has opened an investigation into the cause of the accident.
A total of seven Marines were aboard the two aircraft at the time of the crash. The two F/A-18 Hornet crew members were found in the hours immediately afterward, during the joint search efforts of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, the Japan Coast Guard and the U.S. 7th Fleet. But only one ultimately survived.
The other, identified as Capt. Jahmar F. Resilard, a 28-year-old F/A-18 pilot with Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242, was declared dead soon after he was recovered from the water.
MARINE CORPS IDENTIFIES NAME OF DECEASED MARINE IN F/A-18 and KC-130 MISHAP
— III MEF Marines (@IIIMEF) December 7, 2018
(Read more from “U.S. Marines Declare 5 Service Members Dead, Ending Search After ‘Aviation Mishap'” HERE)