The Marine Corps on Monday recognized a particles subject in jap South Carolina that’s believed to be the F-35 fighter jet that went lacking over the weekend, in line with a press release from Joint Base Charleston.
The jet was misplaced after a pilot ejected Sunday afternoon, triggering a search that lasted for greater than a day for the roughly $80 million plane — and frustration amongst lawmakers. The particles was present in Williamsburg County, an space between Myrtle Seaside and Charleston.
It was not instantly clear from the assertion that the particles subject definitively belonged to the lacking jet, and an investigation from the Marine Corps was nonetheless ongoing.
“Groups from Joint Base Charleston, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, the 2nd Marine Plane Wing out of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Level, Navy Area Southeast, the FAA, the Civil Air Patrol, in addition to native, county, and state legislation enforcement throughout South Carolina have been working collectively to find the U.S. Marine Corps F-35B,” the assertion mentioned.
The lacking F-35 jet belonged to Fighter Assault Coaching Squadron 501 of Marine Plane Group 31, 2nd Marine Plane Wing. The group, often called MAG-31, is predicated out of Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.
A Navy Beechcraft UC-12M Huron and Civil Air Patrol Cessna had been flying in search patterns over Stuckey and Indiantown, South Carolina, that are within the county the place officers mentioned the particles was discovered, in accordance to Flightradar24. A South Carolina State Legislation Enforcement Division helicopter was additionally within the space.
The precise location of the particles subject has not been formally recognized, however the assertion Monday night mentioned that it was two hours north of Joint Base Charleston, which is near these two cities.
The pilot, who ejected safely from the F-35, landed within the Charleston space.
A police report obtained by Army.com from the North Charleston Police Division in South Carolina detailed that officers had been known as to help round 1:46 p.m. native time to examine on a pilot who landed within the yard of a residence in North Charleston, a metropolis near the air base.
The F-35 search prompted a two-day security stand-down from the highest Marine Corps official, Gen. Eric Smith, on Monday. The stand-down is to be carried out by Marine aviation items this week.
“Throughout the security stand-down, aviation commanders will lead discussions with their Marines specializing in the basics of protected flight operations, floor security, upkeep and flight procedures, and sustaining fight readiness,” a press release from the Marine Corps mentioned.
“This stand-down [is] being taken to make sure the service is sustaining operational standardization of combat-ready plane with well-prepared pilots and crews,” the assertion added.
The Joint Base Charleston assertion additionally mentioned that it was transferring “incident command” to the Marine Corps on Monday evening “as they start the restoration course of.”
This story is breaking and shall be up to date when extra data is out there.
— Drew F. Lawrence might be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Observe him on Twitter @df_lawrence.
— Thomas Novelly might be reached at email@example.com. Observe him on Twitter @TomNovelly.
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