Marine KC-130 Aerial Tanker And F/A-18 Hornet Crash Off Japan

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Four Australian F/A-18 aircrafts from the Royal Australian Air Force 77 Squadron refueled alongside U.S. F/A-18 Hornet aircraft from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 212 off the coast of Australia June 20, 2007, during the exercise Talisman Sabre 2007. The biennial exercise is designed to train Australian and U.S. forces in planning and conducting combined task force operations, which will help improve combat readiness and interoperability.
Sgt. Edward R. Guevara Jr./US Marine Corps

Five Marines remain missing and two other Marines have been rescued so far nearly 24 hours after two Marine Corps aircraft crashed off Japan’s coast, officials said on Thursday.


The two rescued Marines were in an F/A-18 Hornet and the other Marines were aboard a KC-130 aerial tanker, both of which went down about 2 a.m. local time on Thursday about 200 miles from Japan, Task & Purpose has learned.

One of the rescued Marines is in fair condition and the other is being evaluated at a local hospital, a Marine Corps news release says.

“U.S. 7th Fleet is supporting ongoing search and rescue efforts with a Navy P-8A Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft flying out of Kadena Air Force Base, along with assistance from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Japanese Coast Guard,” the news release says.

The two aircraft had taken off from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and were flying a training mission that included refueling when the incident occurred, the news release says. Investigators are working to determine exactly what caused the crash.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

UPDATE: This story was updated at 9: 22 A.M. on Dec. 6 to include that five Marines remain missing.

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