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Navy ends search for 3 missing sailors after aircraft crash off Japan

November 24, 2017

The U.S. Navy has suspended its search for three missing sailors following a C-2A Greyhound aircraft crash southeast of Okinawa, Japan, in the Philippine Sea, on Nov. 22.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with our lost shipmates and their families,” said Rear Adm. Marc Dalton, Commander of Task Force 70. “As difficult as this is, we are thankful for the rapid and effective response that led to the rescue of eight of our shipmates, and I appreciate the professionalism and dedication shown by all who participated in the search efforts.”

C-2A Crash (Twitter)

The sailors names are being withheld until net of kin are notified.

Eleven Navy personnel were on board, and eight were recovered and were in good condition after being transferred to the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, the Navy had said.

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The aircraft reportedly crashed shortly after takeoff, and defense officials told Fox Newsthat “early indications pointed to an engine failure as the cause of the mishap.”

Search and rescue efforts are underway for the the three missing personnel – the U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ships and aircraft are on-scene. The names of the crew and passengers are being withheld pending next of kin notification, the Navy said.

An investigation of the crash is also underway.

The C2 had taken off from Japan and was headed to the USS Ronald Reagan.

The Navy reported on the search and rescue efforts:

USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) led the combined search and rescue efforts with units from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). During the course of two days, seven U.S. Navy and JMSDF ships, three helicopter squadrons and maritime patrol aircraft covered nearly 1000 square nautical miles in the search for the missing sailors.

The following ships and aircraft assisted in the search efforts: U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyers USS Stethem (DDG 63), USS Chafee (DDG 90) and USS Mustin (DDG 89); MH-60R Seahawk helicopters of the “Saberhawks” from U.S. Navy Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 77 and “Warlords” of HSM-51; MH-60S helicopters from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 12; P-8 aircraft from the “Fighting Tigers” of U.S. Navy Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Squadron (VP) 8; P-3 Orion aircraft of the “Red Hook” U.S. Navy Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Squadron (VP) 40; JMSDF Helicopter Carrier JS Kaga (DDH 184) and JS Ise (DDH 182); JMSDF Akizuki-class destroyer JS Teruzuki (DD 116); JMSDF Murasame-class destroyer JS Samidare (DD 106); and JMSDF Hatakaze-class destroyer JS Shimakaze (DDG 172).

The Navy had also reported the following details:

At approximately 2:45 p.m. Japan Standard Time, Nov. 22, the C2-A aircraft with 11 crew and passengers onboard 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 USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). Reagan is operating in the Philippine Sea as part of an exercise with JMSDF.

The C2-A is assigned to the “Providers” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron Three Zero, Detachment Five, forward deployed in NAF Atsugi, Japan. Detachment Five’s mission includes the transport of high-priority cargo, mail, duty passengers and Distinguished Visitors between USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and shore bases throughout the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia theaters.