July 23, 2012

Misawa F-16 pilot safely recovered

The pilot who ejected from a U.S. F-16 aircraft early July 22 was retrieved around 5:30 p.m., Japanese time, July 22 by a combined effort from Japanese and U.S. civilian and military assets.

The pilot is in stable condition aboard a U.S. commercial vessel.

The incident occurred approximately 11:30 a.m., JKT, as the F-16 Fighting Falcon was en route to North America.

Several agencies, including the Japanese Coast Guard, Japan Self Defense Forces, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy and civilian vessels in the area responded to the call.

“We are thankful for the support from our Japanese friends and other agencies committed to ensuring the safe recovery of our Airman,” said Col. Al Wimmer, 35th Fighter Wing vice commander.

“The tireless efforts of everyone involved ensured a successful recovery,” Wimmer added. “We are extremely grateful for their assistance and humbled by the rapid and skilled response. We are proud to be a part of such an effective alliance and send our most heartfelt thanks to all those involved.”

The cause of the incident will be investigated. Additional information will be released as it becomes available.

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