Search underway after 2 Marine aircraft crash off coast of Japan

Arturo Kim
December 6, 2018

According to USA media reports, there were two crew on the fighter jet and five personnel on the tanker plane.

The recovered crewmember was being evaluated by medical authorities at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, according to a III Marine Expeditionary Force statement issued just before 9 a.m. local time.

It says the Japanese search and rescue aircraft immediately responded to aid in recovery efforts and says the circumstances of the incident are under investigation.

The US military has also experienced difficulties with its Osprey helicopters, with several emergency landings, a deadly crash and a piece of the chopper falling on the grounds of a Japanese school.

The Marine Corps did not elaborate on the nature of the incident.

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The USNI reported that five crew members were on board the tanker when it went down 200 miles off the Japanese coast. Aerial refueling with the KC-130 calls for another aircraft to pull slightly below and behind the tanker plane, with hoses extended from 3,600-gallon stainless steel tanks on the KC-130′s wings to one or two other aircraft simultaneously.

Anonymous US officials said they were unsure how the mishap may have occurred, but none suspected foul play.

The Marines refuel aircraft differently to the Air Force, said Carl Baker, executive director of the Pacific Forum think tank in Hawaii.

The crash is the latest in recent series of accidents involving the USA military deployed to and near Japan.

The US military has about 50,000 troops stationed in Japan.

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