Air Force Finally Locates Osprey Wreckage

U.S Air Force

( – The US Air Force announced on December 4 that Japanese and American divers discovered the wreckage and the remains of five US crew members from an Air Force Osprey plane that crashed on November 29 off Yakushima island. The US-made CV-22 Osprey carried eight American officers and crashed during a training operation. While three bodies were discovered, only one of them was identified.

In a statement, the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) said that authorities only managed to recover two of the five remaining bodies, but haven’t been able to identify them so far. The agency also pointed out that the joint Japanese-US search mission is still working to recover the remains of the other three bodies from the wreckage.

The AFSOC added in its statement the main priority of the agency is to bring the airmen home and take care of their families. It also noted that another priority is to support the privacy of the airmen’s families and “loved ones,” which the agency said were severely “impacted” by the tragic incident.

Officials of the Japanese Coast Guard pointed out that the ocean is 30 meters deep around the crash site. The CV-22 Osprey is a hybrid aircraft that can land like all helicopters and rotate its propellers forward and cruise like a common airplane during flights.

Over the last few years, the aircraft has had numerous crashes, with the latest case in Japan rekindling safety concerns. Japanese officials have formally suspended all flights of their Osprey fleet and have even said they asked the US military to resume the aircraft’s operations only after guaranteeing their safety.

However, the US Pentagon said in a statement that Japan hasn’t made any formal request and noted that the US military will continue to fly the Marine 24 MV-22s version of Ospreys, which have been deployed to the Japanese island of Okinawa.

On December 3, Japanese coast guard officials said that pieces of wreckage were handed over to the US military, after being discovered by local fishing boats.

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