Two Marine Corps Aircraft Crash Off Japan, Fate Of Those Onboard Unknown

One of the aircraft involved was an F  A 18 fighter jet

One of the aircraft involved was an F A 18 fighter jet

"We are thankful for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force's efforts as they immediately responded in the search and rescue operation".

The Marine Corps tweeted that the incident occurred at about 02:00 on Thursday (17:00 GMT Wednesday).

The Marine Corps suggested Japanese search and rescue aircraft had taken the lead on the rescue mission.

The incident occurred after the planes took off from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Japan, Marine Corps officials said in a statement.

The Marines did not release details of the punishment given to the pilots because the discipline was administrative in nature, according to The Hill.

The U.S. military's III Marine Expeditionary Force, headquartered in Okinawa Prefecture, voiced gratitude to the MSDF for their help.

Search and rescue operations are underway.

The McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet is a fighter and attack aircraft and can carry a wide range of missiles and bombs.

The USNI reported that five crew members were on board the tanker when it went down 200 miles off the Japanese coast.

The crash is the latest in recent series of accidents involving the U.S. military deployed to and near Japan.

Aerial refuelling with a KC-130 requires another aircraft to pull slightly below and behind it, with hoses extended from huge steel tanks on the KC-130's wings to the aircraft needing fuel.

The US military has about 50,000 troops stationed in Japan and accidents are not uncommon.

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