U.S. Navy to support Japanese-led F-35A search, recovery operations

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(DSCU) Van Gogh (Photo by Ultra Deep Salvage)

A U.S. Navy salvage team embarked a contracted vessel and departed Okinawa, Japan, April 24, to assist Japanese-led search and recovery operations for a downed Japan Air Self Defense Force F-35A.

DSCV Van Gogh is a multipurpose diving support and construction vessel equipped with U.S. Navy remotely operated vehicles and a U.S. Navy towed-pinger locator (TPL-25) system.

The F-35A aircraft went missing approximately 85 miles east of Misawa Air Base on April 9.

From April 9-17, U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer, USS Stethem (DDG 63) and P-8A Poseidon aircraft joined JASDF forces April 9-17, searching an area spanning approximately 5,000 square nautical miles.  U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft flew a total of 182 hours.

Our thoughts continue to be with the pilot’s family, friends and colleagues.

The seamless cooperation between the U.S. military and the JASDF during this operation is yet another reflection of a strong Alliance, forged over decades of mutual support and friendship.

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.