5 Marines Missing From Mid-Air Refueling Collision Declared Dead, Search Called Off

Sad news. The 5 Marines missing from the mid-air collision their aircraft suffered while refueling have been declared dead and the search has been called off.

The 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force issued the following report:

“After an update from the Joint Personnel Recovery Center, and a review of all available information, I have made the determination to end the search and rescue operations for the crew of our KC-130J aircraft which was involved in a mishap off the southern coast of Japan and to declare that these Marine warriors are deceased.

Every possible effort was made to recover our crew and I hope the families of these selfless Americans will find comfort in the incredible efforts made by US, Japanese, and Australian forces during the search. The KC-130J flight data and cockpit voice recorders have not been located at this time, making it premature to speculate about wreckage recovery. Every member of the III MEF family mourns this loss and stands alongside the families of the fallen in this terrible moment. We remain, Semper Fidelis.” – LtGen Eric M. Smith, Commanding General, III MEF”

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP BUTLER, Okinawa, Japan – The Marine Corps has pronounced the five remaining Marines involved in the F/A-18 and KC-130 aviation mishap deceased. The change in status comes at the conclusion of search and rescue operations.

The next-of-kin for the five deceased Marines have been notified.

Our most valued asset is the individual Marine. We remain faithful to our Marines and their families as we support them through this difficult time. We ask for members of the public to please respect the family and allow them privacy.

The KC-130 Hercules was assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 (VMGR-152, call sign “Sumo”), 1st Marine Aircraft Wing.

“All of us in the Sumo family are extremely saddened following the announcement of the conclusion of search and rescue operations,” said U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Mitchell T. Maury, commanding officer of VMGR-152. “We know this difficult decision was made after all resources were exhausted in the vigorous search for our Marines. Our thoughts are heavy and our prayers are with all family and friends of all five aircrew.”

The F/A-18 Hornet involved was assigned to Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242 (VMFA-242). The aircraft were conducting regularly-scheduled training. It is not confirmed that aerial refueling was ongoing when the mishap occurred.”

Fox News offered the following report:

Rest in peace, Marines. Semper Fi.

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About Jeff Rainforth 571 Articles
Jeff covers border news in the US and has traveled around the world documenting the border walls and counter-terrorism efforts of other countries. He runs the Rainforth Report on Substack. In 2022 Jeff embarked on a border crisis tour, documenting cartel trafficking of drugs and humans. The year before he was contracted to film on the border with Ben Bergquam of America's Voice News and also for Women Fighting for America. Jeff was the videographer for the March for Trump bus tour which crossed the country twice and ended on January 6th, 2021 in DC at the Capitol. He filmed the events that took place at the Capitol Building. Jeff was the videographer and news editor for We Build the Wall, the organization founded by triple-amputee vet hero Brian Kolfage. He was the sole photographer allowed to be on site to document the construction of the first ever privately built border wall. Jeff has worked on Kolfage's projects since 2015. Steve Bannon sent Jeff to embed with the Hong Kong protesters, covering their fight for freedom against the Chinese Communist Party, and regularly films inside of riots in Democrat-run cities in the United States. Bannon also sent Jeff to film for a documentary on border walls in mainland China as COVID was about to emerge from the country. Bannon and Kolfage then sent Jeff to film walls and counter-terrorism efforts in Thailand, Malaysia, Israel by the Gaza Strip, Hungary & Serbia, France, Spain, and north Africa. As of 2022 Jeff is an editor at Populist Press and other news sites. Jeff did a special 2nd Amendment project for Navy SEAL Rob O'Neill who killed Bin Laden, and he was the national rally organizer to free Marine Sgt. Tahmooressi from the Mexican prison. He is chairman emeritus of Ross Perot’s Reform Party of California, and a former candidate for governor. He wrote for former war correspondent & Breitbart contributor, Pat Dollard, and headed up his 30-person research team. Mr. Rainforth also wrote for the Wayne Dupree Show. Jeff is a two-time nominee for the prestigious Blog Bash Award for best activism for organizing the national movement to form a select committee on Benghazi, and for his role as the national rally organizer to free Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi from Mexican imprisonment. Jeff appears in Sgt. Tahmooressi's mother's book, "When Light Prevails."

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