Lt. Gen. Tony Bauernfeind, commander of the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), issued a directive for an operational standdown of the Air Force CV-22 fleet on December 6, 2023.
This measure aims to mitigate potential risks while investigations continue into the recent CV-22 mishap near Yakushima, Japan, which occurred on November 29, 2023.
Preliminary findings from the investigation suggest a potential material failure as the cause of the mishap. However, the root cause of this failure remains unidentified, prompting the need for a comprehensive inquiry. The standdown has been enforced to facilitate a meticulous investigation, allowing for the identification of causal factors and recommendations essential for the safe return of the Air Force CV-22 fleet to flight operations.
Expressions of gratitude have been extended to the Joint Force and the Government of Japan’s Self-Defense Force, Coast Guard, law enforcement agencies, and civilian volunteers for their unwavering support and dedicated efforts during the search and rescue operations for the Air Commandos involved in the mishap.
The decision to initiate the operational standdown ensures the continued operational readiness and safety of the Air Force CV-22 fleet.