A midair collision involving a Marine Corps KC-130 Hercules and F/A-18 Hornet 200 miles off of the coast of Japan has resulted in the death of one Marine, one being rescued, and five others still missing. III Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) announced the collision occurred around 2:00 A.M.
Search and rescue operations continue for U.S. Marine Corps aircraft that were involved in a mishap approximately 200 miles off of the coast of Japan around 2:00 a.m. Dec. 6.— III MEF Marines (@IIIMEF) December 6, 2018
View full press release: https://t.co/xU9TbaqKsV pic.twitter.com/Qqta4xZ1Vi
The Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force initially rescued one of the Marines, with another being found a short time later and was sent to hospital for medical evaluation. Hours later, III MEF revealed the Marine had died.
“The United States Marine Corps confirms that two Marines have been found. One is in fair condition and the other has been declared deceased by competent medical personnel,” III MEF stated. “The aircraft were conducting routine training and aerial refueling was a part of the training; as to what was taking place when the mishap occurred, that is under investigation.”
Both U.S. and Japanese forces are involved in the search and rescue operation:
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 U.S. military has been plagued with non-combat aviation crashes. This recent crash and collision has now made 2018 surpassed the number of crashes in 2017.
NOTABLE: The midair collision off Japan is 21st non-combat aviation crash for U.S. military this year. In 2017, there were 20 non-combat crashes— Lucas Tomlinson (@LucasFoxNews) December 6, 2018
Update: President Trump tweeted his thoughts and prayers for those involved Thursday.
My thoughts and prayers are with the @USMC crew members who were involved in a mid-air collision off the coast of Japan. Thank you to @USForcesJapan for their immediate response and rescue efforts. Whatever you need, we are here for you. @IIIMEF— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2018