first published on December 11, 2018 by Will
The search mission for five missing Marines has been called off, and the troops have now been declared dead, following a deadly mid-air collision off the coast of Japan just days ago.
On 6 December at 2am two military aircraft, an F/A-18 Super Hornet and a KC-130J fueler, collided while conducting routine refueling training operations, causing both aircraft to crash into the sea.
Both of the fighter jet’s crew members were recovered within hours, one deceased (Capt. Jahmar F. Resilard, 28) and one in stable condition. However, after five days of search and rescue operations, the five person crew, the tanker aircraft, and its flight data and cockpit voice recorders have still not been located.
“Every possible effort was made to recover our crew and I hope the families of these selfless Americans will find comfort in the incredible efforts made by U.S., Japanese, and Australian forces during the search,” Lt. Gen. Eric M. Smith, III Marine Expeditionary Force commander said.
The Japanese and Australian militaries aided the US in over 800 hours of search and rescue efforts, covering 35,000 square miles of sea.
The following video shows refueling operations between a KC-130 and F/A-18 aircraft.