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US Navy plane crashes off coast of Japan: 8 rescued and 3 missing


Search and rescue operations continue for three personnel following a C-2A Greyhound aircraft crash southeast of Okinawa at 2:45 p.m. Nov. 22.

Eight personnel were recovered by the "Golden Falcons" of U.S. Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12. The eight personnel were transferred to USS Ronald Reagan for medical evaluation and are in good condition at this time.

"Our entire focus is on finding all of our Sailors," said Rear Adm. Marc H. Dalton, commander, Task Force 70. "U.S. and Japanese ships and aircraft are searching the area of the crash and we will be relentless in our efforts."

The USS Ronald Reagan is leading search and rescue efforts with the following ships and aircraft: U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem; MH-60R Seahawk helicopters of the "Saberhawks" from U.S. Navy Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 77; P-8 aircraft from the "Fighting Tigers" of U.S. Navy Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Squadron 8; P-3 Orion aircraft of the "Red Hook" U.S. Navy Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Squadron 40; Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Helicopter Carrier Japan Ship Kaga; and JMSDF Hatakaze-class destroyer Japan Ship Shimakaze.

At approximately 2:45 p.m. Japan Standard Time, Nov. 22, the C2-A aircraft with 11 crew and passengers on board crashed into the ocean approximately 500 nautical miles southeast of Okinawa. The aircraft was conducting a routine transport flight carrying passengers and cargo from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni to Ronald Reagan.

The C2-A is assigned to the "Providers" of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30, Det. 5, forward deployed in Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi, Japan. Det. 5's mission includes the transport of high-priority cargo, mail, duty passengers and distinguished visitors between USS Ronald Reagan and shore bases throughout the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia theaters.

The names of the crew and passengers are being withheld pending next of kin notification.

The incident will be investigated.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson's statement on the incident: "Our Sailors are in my thoughts and prayers as we perform search and rescue operations for a downed aircraft in the Philippine Sea. Eight of eleven Sailors are safe and sound on USS Ronald Reagan. We continue to search for three."

Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer's statement on the incident: "I would like everyone to take a moment and keep some of our Navy family in their thoughts and prayers. A C2 Greyhound with 11 personnel on board crashed in the Philippine Sea while in transit to USS Ronald Reagan. Eight have been rescued, and a full search and rescue mission is underway for the missing three. We are grateful to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) for their assistance, but I would ask that we keep our fellow Navy family members in our thoughts and prayers."

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