The U.S. and Japan are joining forces as ships and aircraft continue to search in the Philippine Sea on Thursday for the the missing sailors a day after a U.S. Navy aircraft crashed.
The U.S. aircraft carrier is leading the search and rescue operations while Japan’s naval forces are lending a hand. The joint operations have so far spanned more than 320 nautical miles as of Thursday morning.
The Navy said that they have informed the family of the three sailors that they are missing. They are not releasing publicly the identities of the three, however, for three more days as a matter of policy.
President Trump has been briefed on the matter. The President has taken to Twitter to express his concern. He posted: “We are monitoring the situation. Prayers for all involved.”
The Navy said eight people were already rescued 40 minutes after the crash of the C-2 “Greyhound” transport aircraft Wednesday afternoon. They were immediately taken aboard the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier all in good condition.
The Reagan was just participating in a joint exercise with Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force when the crash happened.
The joint exercise that’s supposed to run from November 16 up to 26 in waters off Okinawa, Japan has been glowingly described by the Navy as “the premier training event” between allies American and Japanese navies. The exercises are intended to increase defense readiness and interoperability in air and sea operations.
The Navy’s Japan-based 7th Fleet has had 2 previous fatal accidents in Asian waters this year. 17 sailors died from the accidents prompting the government to remove eight top Navy officers from their posts, including the commander of the 7th Fleet.