Thursday, November 19, 2020

U.S. Navy maritime patrol aircraft and destroyer join JSDF search for Japanese F-35A pilot

On Wednesday the U.S. Navy has reported that its P-8A maritime patrol aircraft and a guided-missile destroyer are assisting Japanese-led search and rescue efforts for the pilot of a Japan Air Self Defense Force F-35A missing since Apr. 9.

The F-35A lost radar contact approximately 85 miles east of Misawa Air Base.

A P-8A joined JASDF aircraft and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force ships searching the area overnight.

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Additional flights are continuing today.

Guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) is sailing to the search area now.

U.S. 7th Fleet provides security alongside allies and partners throughout a free and open Indo-Pacific. As the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed fleet, 7th Fleet operates roughly 50-70 ships and submarines and 140 aircraft with approximately 20,000 Sailors.

The P-8A aircraft are assigned to Patrol Squadron (VP) 8 and Patrol Squadron (VP) 5. Both squadrons are homeported in Jacksonville, Fla. and are on rotational deployments to 7th Fleet out of Misawa, Japan.

Stethem is forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.

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