US Navy aircraft crashes into sea off Japan, 11 aboard

US Navy aircraft carrying 11 crashes off Japan

The aircraft was headed to the USA aircraft carrier the USS Ronald Reagan, which is deployed to the Philippine Sea.

The search for the remaining three is continuing. The Reagan is home-ported at the US naval base in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture.

A U.S. Navy aircraft carrying 11 crewmembers and passengers, crashed into the ocean southeast of Okinawa Wednesday afternoon, the Seventh Fleet said.

The Japan-based United States 7th Fleet said in a statement that a search and rescue operation had been launched from the carrier.

The Reagan was operating in the Philippine Sea during a joint exercise with Japan's Maritime Self-Defence Force when the twin-propeller plane crashed at 2.45pm Japan time.

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According to a statement from the Navy, the names of the crew and passengers who were onboard are being withheld pending the notification of their next of kin.

The C2-A is assigned to the "Providers" of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron Three Zero, Detachment Five, forward deployed in NAF Atsugi, Japan, the Navy said. They took part in a military exercise a little over a week ago as a show of strength toward North Korea.

Ten were killed when the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker near Singapore in August, and seven died when the USS Fitzgerald ran into a much heavier container ship off the coast of Japan in June.

US and Japanese search crews are now looking for the remaining missing individuals, while eight people have been rescued and are reportedly in "good condition". Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin was relieved of duty due to a "loss of confidence in his ability to command", according to the Navy.

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