U.S. Navy Plane Crashes in Philippine Sea, Eight Sailors Rescued


Search and rescue operations continue for three sailors after a C-2A Greyhound plane crashed southeast of Okinawa on Wednesday.

Eight sailors were recovered by the "Golden Falcons" of U.S. Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 12. The eight were transferred to USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) 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."

"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," Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said in a statement.

Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer's said, "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... I would ask that we keep our fellow Navy family members in our thoughts and prayers." 

USS Ronald Reagan is leading search and rescue efforts with the following ships and aircraft: U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63); MH-60R Seahawk helicopters of the "Saberhawks" from U.S. Navy Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 77; 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; Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Helicopter Carrier Japan Ship (JS) Kaga (DDH 184); and JMSDF Hatakaze-class destroyer Japan Ship (JS) Shimakaze (DDG 172).

At approximately 2:45 p.m. Japan Standard Time, Wednesday, 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 names of the crew and passengers are being withheld pending next of kin notification.

The incident will be investigated.

A family assistance center is online at Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka. Families who live off base in Japan can call 0468-16-1728. Families living in the United States can call +81-468-16-1728 (international); families who live on base can call 243-1728 (DSN).

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