A joint U.S.-Japanese search team investigating the recent crash of a U.S. military Osprey CV-22B aircraft off the coast of Japan has located wreckage and the remains of five missing crew members.
The crash occurred on November 29 near the island of Yakushima, involving the Osprey CV-22B tiltrotor aircraft carrying eight crew members.
Confirmation by Air Force Special Operations Command: Wreckage
The Air Force Special Operations Command confirmed that a U.S.-Japanese diving team discovered the fuselage and five bodies, with two already retrieved. The identities of the recovered crew members have not been disclosed.
Ongoing Recovery Efforts and Priorities
The recovery operation involves a coalition of military, coast guard, law enforcement, mariners, and local volunteers. The primary focus is on locating and repatriating the U.S. service members. The Japanese Coast Guard reported last week that one person was found unconscious and later confirmed dead, leaving two crew members unaccounted for.
Top Priorities: Bringing Airmen Home and Family Support
The top priority is bringing the airmen home, with strong support for their families. Privacy considerations for the affected families are being emphasized during this challenging time.
Concerns and Grounding of Osprey Fleet
The crash has sparked concerns about the safety of the Osprey CV-22B, leading Japan to ground its own Osprey fleet. Subsequently, the Pentagon halted the flying of Ospreys from Yokota Air Base. Despite the temporary suspension in Japan, U.S. Ospreys continue operations in other regions.
Adding to Safety Concerns: Wreckage
This incident adds to a series of fatal incidents involving U.S. military Osprey aircraft, prompting increased scrutiny and safety evaluations within the military community.