USA military calls off search for missing Marines

Dec 12, 2018, 13:48
USA military calls off search for missing Marines

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.

Searches by Japanese authorities and US forces for the remaining five marines, who are believed to have been aboard the KC-130, are still underway in an area of the Pacific Ocean about 100 km (60 miles) south of Cape Muroto in Kochi Prefecture. Their names were not immediately released.

Two pilots of the F/A-18 fighter jet were rescued after the accident, but one of them later died.

The two aircraft belonged to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

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And in November 2017, a C-2A "Greyhound" aircraft with 11 people on board went down in the Philippine Sea - eight were rescued and the search was called off for the remaining three after a two-day search.

The warplanes crashed into the sea south of Japan's Shikoku island. "The change in status comes at the conclusion of search and rescue operations".

The search, joined by Japanese and Australian forces, was halted Tuesday, and the cause of the crash is still under investigation, the Marines said in a statement.

The Marine Corps initially said the accident occurred during an aerial refueling that was part of routine training, but on Tuesday said it is "not confirmed" that refueling was ongoing when the collision occurred.

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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. "We know this hard decision was made after all resources were exhausted in the vigorous search for the Marines".

A multinational effort to find survivors included U.S., Japanese and Australian aircraft and U.S. and Japanese ships.

A Class A mishap is classified as an accident resulting in loss of life or permanent total disability, destruction of an aircraft or damage worth $2 million or more.

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