Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Navy Finds Plane That Crashed Into Philippine Sea In November, Killing 3 Sailors
The Navy has located the C-2A Greyhound that crashed into the Philippine Sea in November, killing three sailors.
Deepwater-salvage experts operating out of a contracted salvage vessel found the aircraft Dec. 29 using a system to hone in on the downed plane’s emergency relocation pinger, said a Navy statement issued Friday.
The Greyhound is about 18,500 feet down, which would make the aircraft recovering operation the deepest ever attempted, the statement said. In the coming weeks, salvage teams will begin mapping the debris field and attaching heavy lines to the ship to bring the aircraft to the surface.
“Despite very challenging conditions, every effort will be made to recover the aircraft and our fallen sailors,” the statement said.
The Greyhound was carrying 11 passengers and cargo from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan when it crashed on Nov. 22. It was assigned to Carrier Air Wing 5, the aviation component of carrier’s strike group.
The Yokosuka-based Ronald Reagan was conducting an annual bilateral maritime field-training exercise with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force at the time of the incident.
Shortly after the crash, eight people were rescued by Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12. U.S. and Japanese ships and aircraft spent two days searching for the three missing sailors — Lt. Steven Combs, Seaman Matthew Chialastri and Seaman Apprentice Bryan Grosso — over an area of nearly 1,000 square nautical miles.
The Navy is considering a posthumous award for Combs, whose flying has been credited with possibly saving the lives of the other passengers.
“Lt. Combs’ co-pilot was effusive in his praise. He said, ‘He flew the hell out of that plane,’” Navy Cmdr. Ronald Flanders, a spokesman for Naval Air Forces, told Stars and Stripes. “It was heroic. A remarkable piece of flying that was instrumental in saving eight lives.”
The Navy has yet to announce the official cause of the crash. It appears the Greyhound suffered a rare double engine failure, two Navy officials previously told Stars and Stripes on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation. The officials said it was unclear what would have caused the engines to fail.
The crash capped off a deadly year for the Navy’s Japan-based 7th Fleet that included a series of high-profile accidents and mishaps. In January, the USS Antietam ran aground and spilled roughly 1,100 gallons of hydraulic fluid into Tokyo Bay; in June, a collision between the USS Fitzgerald and a merchant ship killed seven sailors; and in August, the USS John S. McCain ran into an oil tanker, killing 10 more.
©2018 the Stars and Stripes. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
The Pentagon has identified the two soldiers were killed in combat in Afghanistan on Wednesday as members of U.S. Army Special Forces.
Master Sgt. Luis F. DeLeon-Figueroa, 31, and Master Sgt. Jose J. Gonzalez, 35, both died in Faryab Province from wounds sustained from small arms fire, the Pentagon said in a press release. The incident is under investigation.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted on Thursday of possible Israeli involvement in attacks against Iranian-linked targets in Iraq.
A series of blasts in the past few weeks have hit weapon depots and bases belonging to paramilitary groups in Iraq, many of them backed by Israel's regional foe Iran. The groups blamed the United States and Israel for the blasts on Wednesday.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that will make it easier for permanently disabled veterans to have their student loan debt forgiven.
Physical fitness tests were briefly suspended earlier this week and outdoor cardio testing will be curtailed for the remainder of the summer at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, after an airman died Saturday. She had completed her PT test on Friday.
Navy Secretary Richard Spencer has expanded a review of the Judge Advocate General Corps to include the Marine Corps, a Navy spokesman said on Thursday.
"There is value in applying this review and its subsequent recommendations across the Department of the Navy," Cmdr. Jereal Dorsey told Task & Purpose. "The review's purpose is to confirm the uniformed legal community is structurally and organizationally sound and best supporting the good order and discipline our integrated naval force."