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Statement from the USFJ Commander: Ongoing Search and Rescue Operations

18-022 | Dec. 9, 2018

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- U.S. Forces Japan continues to work with our Japanese partners to execute a massive search and rescue operation for the five missing Marines involved in a KC-130 - F/A-18 accident early in the morning of Dec. 6. 

We are using all available capability in this search.  Thus far, both U.S. and Japanese air and maritime assets have been involved in the effort to find these five brave Marines. Further, we expanded the search area today based on ocean drift patterns to cover all potential areas the crew might be located.

U.S. assets that are participating in this effort include the U.S. Air Force MC-130J, CV-22, C-130J, RC-135, KC-135, and RQ-4 Global Hawk as well as U.S. Navy P-8. We have been joined in this search by numerous Japan Maritime and Air Self Defense Force aircraft and ships as well as Japan Coast Guard aircraft and ships. Additionally our great Australian allies have contributed a P-8 Poseidon to the effort.

I am incredibly proud of the combined efforts of the U.S. and our Japanese and Australian allies and their commitment to helping us find our lost teammates. Our Japanese partners saved the life of one of our downed aircrew hours after the accident, and I am grateful for their continued support. 

In this difficult time, please keep the families, friends and teammates of these Marines in your thoughts and prayers as well as all of the men and women who continue the search.  

                                                                  Lt. Gen. Jerry P. Martinez 

    Commander, U.S. Forces Japan