The U.S. Air Force is persisting in its search and rescue efforts following an aviation mishap involving a CV-22A Osprey Aircraft off the coast of Yakushima Island, Japan. The aircraft, belonging to the 353rd Special Operations Wing and stationed at Yokota Air Base in Tokyo, was engaged in a routine training exercise when the incident occurred, resulting in eight airmen being reported missing.
Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh, in a recent press briefing, reaffirmed the ongoing nature of the search operations. “Emergency personnel are continuing search and rescue operations,” Singh conveyed. She underscored that the investigation into the cause of the incident is active and that the thoughts of the department are with the unit and the families of the involved airmen. Gratitude was also extended to the Japanese government and Coast Guard for their substantial support in the search efforts.
Amidst this incident, Singh assured that U.S-owned Ospreys in Japan are still operational. “We are committed to safety and are thoroughly investigating what exactly occurred with this aircraft,” she stated. Singh emphasized that any necessary changes or measures regarding the Osprey aircraft would be implemented based on the findings of the ongoing investigation.
The current priority, according to Singh, is on the continued rescue efforts for the eight missing airmen. To assist those affected by the mishap, officials at Yokota Air Base have established an “Emergency Family Assistance Center” (EFAC). This center is designed to be a hub for counseling, assistance, and information for the families of the airmen and others affected by the incident.
As the search and rescue operations proceed, the military community remains hopeful for positive outcomes. Further updates are expected as more information becomes available.