UPDATE: Marine Corps Commandant Issues ‘Two-Day Stand-Down’ Following F-35 Disappearance
After the disappearance of an F-35 stealth fighter jet near Charleston, South Carolina, the U.S. Marine Corps commandant issued a two-day stand-down for all aviation units.
U.S. military officials Sunday requested the public’s assistance locating the missing F-35 fighter jet.
“We’re working with @MCASBeaufortSC to locate an F-35 that was involved in a mishap this afternoon. The pilot ejected safely. If you have any information that may help our recovery teams locate the F-35,” Joint Base Charleston wrote Sunday.
“Based on the jet’s last-known position and in coordination with the FAA, we are focusing our attention north of JB Charleston, around Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion.”
Based on the jet’s last-known position and in coordination with the FAA, we are focusing our attention north of JB Charleston, around Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion.
— Joint Base Charleston (@TeamCharleston) September 17, 2023
The pilot ejected safely and was transported to a local medical center after the “mishap.”
Officials deployed emergency response teams to locate the missing fighter jet.
“The public is asked to cooperate with military and civilian authorities as the effort continues,” the base said in a statement on Facebook.
BREAKING: US Govt asks for public assistance in locating $80 million F-35 jet that went missing after ‘mishap’https://t.co/yvyS6SJKRk
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) September 18, 2023
At the time of writing, the military is still searching for the missing aircraft.
“Is it possible that our most advanced aircraft assets have been compromised?” journalist Nick Sortor asked.
#BREAKING: The US Marine Corps has just issued a two-day “stand-down” order for “all aviation units” both “inside and outside” of the U.S. following the disappearance of a F-35 warplane — ABC
Their reason is currently unknown.
Is it possible that our most advanced aircraft… pic.twitter.com/HSYaLJ34v3
— Nick Sortor (@nicksortor) September 18, 2023
ABC News reports:
Marine Corps Commandant Eric Smith on Monday issued a two-day stand-down to take place at some point this week for all aviation units both inside and outside of the United States, a Marine Corps spokesman told ABC News.
The move was made in the wake of a “mishap” with an F-35 fighter jet in South Carolina on Sunday.
That craft has not yet been located, though the military continues to search.
A Marine Corps spokesperson said in a statement on Sunday that the F-35’s pilot “safely ejected from the aircraft. We are currently still gathering more information and assessing the situation. The mishap will be under investigation.”
No units are allowed to fly until they have a two-day discussion about safety measures and procedures, the commandant said in a service-wide email on Monday. While the Marine Corps commandant said he has full confidence in the aviation units, he said he felt this was the “right and prudent” thing to do given both this incident and another recent incident in Australia.
JUST IN – As Marines search for a missing F-35 after a “mishap,” officials order a two-day stand-down for all jets both inside and outside the U.S – ABC News pic.twitter.com/QL3cbtvMAT
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) September 18, 2023
Three U.S. Marines died last month in an aircraft crash during a training exercise in Australia.
“A Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey crashed near Darwin, Australia, at approximately 9:30 local time, 27 Aug. Three Marines have died as a result of the crash, and five others are currently in serious condition,” the U.S. Marines posted last month.
A Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey crashed near Darwin, Australia, at approximately 9:30 local time, 27 Aug. Three Marines have died as a result of the crash, and five others are currently in serious condition.
— U.S. Marines (@USMC) August 27, 2023
The bodies of three U.S. Marines killed in a tiltrotor aircraft crash during a training exercise in Australia were retrieved from the crash scene while another Marine remained in critical condition, the Marine Corps said Tuesday.
Those killed were from Illinois, Virginia and Colorado.
The Marine V-22B Osprey with 23 Marines on board crashed Sunday in tropical forest on Melville Island while taking part in Exercise Predators Run, a drill that includes the militaries of Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines and East Timor.
All 20 survivors were injured and were flown by rescue aircraft 80 kilometers (50 miles) south to the city of Darwin within hours of the crash. Three of those Marines remained in Royal Darwin Hospital on Tuesday, one in critical condition and two stable, a Marines statement said.
The three casualties had been declared dead at the crash site and their bodies were returned to Darwin late Tuesday, a statement said.