UPDATE: The Navy has now identified the three missing sailors. Read the story here.
The US Navy has ended its rescue efforts for three personnel missing since Wednesday November 22nd when the Grumman C-2A(R) Greyhound in which they were flying crashed in the Pacific Ocean while flying to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76). According to Navy Times, the crash of the VRC-30 Providers Detachment 5 We Deliver COD aircraft was the first fatal C-2 crash in 40 years. The last fatal C-2A crash was in 1973, when a Greyhound lost power to both engines and crashed into the Mediterranean Sea, killing seven of the 10 on board the aircraft.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with our lost shipmates and their families,” Rear Adm. Marc Dalton, Commander, Task Force 70, said in a Thursday news release. “As difficult as this is, we are thankful for the rapid and effective response that led to the rescue of eight of our shipmates, and I appreciate the professionalism and dedication shown by all who participated in the search efforts.”
On November 22nd 2017 at approximately 1523 local time a VRC-30 Providers Detachment 5 We Deliver Grumman C-2A(R) Greyhound carrier onboard delivery (COD) aircraft crashed in the ocean roughly 500 miles southeast of Okinawa. The COD was en route from Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) operating in the Philippine Sea. The COD was carrying a total of 11 passengers and crew, eight of whom have been rescued and are receiving medical care aboard the Reagan.
Search and rescue (SAR) efforts are ongoing in the area. HSC-12 Golden Falcons Sikorsky MH-60S Seahawk helicopters from the Reagan rescued the survivors located so far. The Reagan and her Carrier Strike Group 5 are currently operating with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Helicopter Carrier JS Kaga (DDH 184) and Hatakaze-class destroyer JS Shimakaze (DDG 172). The Japanese ships are assisting in the SAR efforts.
Additional US Navy assets assisting in the SAR efforts include the Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63), HSM-77 Saberhawks MH-60R Seahawk helicopters from Carrier Air Wing FIVE (CVW-5) aboard the Reagan, VP-8 Fighting Tigers Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, and VP-40 Fighting Marlins Lockheed P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft. The cause of the mishap has not yet been determined but an investigation is underway. We will update this story as more information becomes available.