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US and Japan do not think that China will find the wreckage of a missing Japanese F-35
Top U.S. and Japanese defense officials are downplaying the possibility that the Chinese military could recover the wreckage of a Japanese F-35A that crashed on April 9 in the Pacific Ocean.
The Joint Strike Fighter disappeared from radar about 85 miles east of Honshu, Japan's main island. Although ships and aircraft have spotted some debris in the area where the plane is believed to have crashed, both the wreckage and pilot remain missing.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and his Japanese counterpart both said they are not concerned the Chinese could get to the F-35A first.
"We're supporting the investigation there, the incident," Shanahan said on Friday shortly before meeting with Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya at the Pentagon. "The Japanese have the lead there and we're working very collaboratively with them. We've got a capability if what they have doesn't prove to be sufficient."
Iwaya was even more emphatic, saying the Japanese government is not entertaining the possibility that the F-35A wreckage could be recovered by the Chinese.
"We are conducting surveillance and warning activities so we can identify and find the missing aircraft," Iwaya told reporters at the beginning of his meeting with Shanahan.
Despite its main glitches, the F-35 is the most advanced aircraft flying today. It is designed to defeat the most sophisticated Russian and Chinese air defenses, making it a tempting target for both countries' intelligence services.
The idea that Russia or China could recover the crashed Japanese F-35 is not entirely implausible. In 1974, the CIA tried to raise a sunken Soviet submarine as part of a covert operation. The cover story was that the ship built for the operation belonged to billionaire Howard Hughes, who supposedly wanted to mine the sea floor.
The Hughes Glomar Explorer used a giant claw to retrieve the submarine, but the Soviet boat broke up on the way to the surface, and the CIA only recovered a small portion of it.
In 1992, then-CIA Director Robert Gates informed Russian President Boris Yeltsin about the operation, during which the bodies of Soviet sailors found in the submarine's wreckage were buried at sea with full honors.
SEE ALSO: Japanese F-35 investigators, baffled by the crash, face a daunting salvage operation ahead
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A group of vets are raising money to pay for a medal the Iraqi government awarded them, but never delivered
In June 2011 Iraq's defense minister announced that U.S. troops who had deployed to the country would receive the Iraq Commitment Medal in recognition of their service. Eight years later, millions of qualified veterans have yet to receive it.
The reason: The Iraqi government has so far failed to provide the medals to the Department of Defense for approval and distribution.
A small group of veterans hopes to change that.
For a cool $8.5 million, you could be the proud owner of a "fully functioning" F-16 A/B Fighting Falcon fighter jet that a South Florida company acquired from Jordan.
The combat aircraft, which can hit a top speed of 1,357 mph at 40,000 feet, isn't showroom new — it was built in 1980. But it still has a max range of 2,400 miles and an initial climb rate of 62,000 feet per minute and remains militarized, according to The Drive, an automotive website that also covers defense topics, WBDO News 96.5 reported Wednesday.
A doctor who treated accident victims has a radioactive isotope in his body. Russia says it came from his diet
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian authorities said on Friday that a doctor who treated those injured in a mysterious accident this month had the radioactive isotope Caesium-137 in his body, but said it was probably put there by his diet.
The deadly accident at a military site in northern Russia took place on Aug. 8 and caused a brief spurt of radiation. Russian President Vladimir Putin later said it occurred during testing of what he called promising new weapons systems.
Groundwater at the Air Force Academy is contaminated with the same toxic chemicals polluting a southern El Paso County aquifer, expanding a problem that has cost tens of millions of dollars to address in the Pikes Peak region.
Plans are underway to begin testing drinking water wells south of the academy in the Woodmen Valley area after unsafe levels of the chemicals were found at four locations on base, the academy said Thursday.