US F-15 fighter crashes into sea off Okinawa, pilot rescued

Postado Junho 11, 2018

A U.S. fighter jet has crashed into the sea off the Japanese island of Okinawa. "Our hearts and prayers go to the pilot and his family as they go through this hard time", Kadena airbase wrote on their Twitter account.

A US Air Force's F-15 aircraft takes off at Kadena US Air Force Base on Japan's southwestern island of Okinawa on June 16, 2009.

"I would like to personally thank the Naha Rescue Squadron for their quick response this morning, which led to the safe recovery of our airman", said Col. Richard Tanner, 18th Wing vice commander, in a statement.

"I sincerely appreciate the strong support of our Japanese partners in this hard situation", he said in an 18th Wing statement issued Monday evening.

The jet was flying out of the United States military facility of Kadena Air Base in Okinawa.

The cause of the mishap is unknown, the wing statement said. A series of emergency landings and parts falling from USA military aircraft have highlighted safety concerns.

"I want to firmly demand safe flights", he said adding that he has asked the USA military to implement safety management thoroughly and take measures to prevent a recurrence.

The U.S. has a heavy military presence in Okinawa that has been the source of friction with the local government and some residents. They are also expected to lodge formal protests with the USA military.

An F-15 fighter crashed into the sea off Okinawa in May 2013, and an object weighing 1.4kg fell off an F-15 fighter during a flight in February.

The F-15 is the Air Force's legacy air superiority fighter and costs $29.9 million per jet.