A U.S. Navy salvage team aboard a contracted vessel completed its mission supporting search and recovery operations with the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) after locating debris from the downed Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) F-35A Lightning II stealth fighter aircraft off the coast of Japan, May 8.
Working closely with JSDF forces, the salvage team deployed a U.S. Navy remotely operated vehicle (ROV), CURV 21, to survey the area where debris was located.
The aircraft went missing 85 miles east of Misawa Air Base, Apr. 9. Prior to the salvage team mission, guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) and multiple P-8A Poseidon aircraft joined JSDF-led search efforts from Apr. 9-17, covering more than 5,000 square nautical miles.
The U.S. Navy’s thoughts continue to be with the pilot’s family, friends and colleagues, said a U.S. 7th Fleet statement. The close coordination and cooperation between the U.S. military and JSDF during this operation serves as a reflection of a strong Alliance, forged over decades of mutual support and friendship, the statement added.