All U.S. Air Force (USAF) F-15 Eagle fighter jets, based at Kadena Air Base in Japan, resumed flying training on June 13 fFollowing a stand-down period and inspection, the U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ) said in a statement.
The leadership of the USAF 18th Wing paused fighter training Monday following an F-15 crash in an over-water training area south of Okinawa. As per the latest statement from the Air Base, the status of the pilot injured in the crash has been updated to fair condition from serious condition.
The USAF 18th Wing is the host wing for Kadena Air Base. It is home to two fighter squadrons, the 44th Fighter Squadron “Vampire Bats” and the 67th Fighter Squadron “Fighting Cocks”.
The USFJ statement added that senior, experienced pilots and maintainers have reviewed the initial facts and circumstances of the mishap and are confident that the incident does not indicate a problem with the overall safety of Kadena’s F-15 fleet.
Col. Richard Tanner, 18th Wing vice commander, reaffirmed that the 18th Wing continues to make every effort to ensure the safety of aircraft operations at Kadena.
“In the last 24 hours, we’ve inspected all of our F-15s, and we are confident they are safe to resume training,” said Tanner. “At the same time, we have reinforced the importance of safety and adherence to flight regulations with all of our pilots.”
“Our mission is to defend Japan and maintain regional security,” added Tanner. “The safety of our pilots, our base population and our surrounding communities remains our top priority as we meet our Alliance obligations.”
The incident marked the sixth non-combat crash for the U.S. Air Force in 2018, following seven last year.