• Lexi Ponder

Missing U.S. sailors' names released

On Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017, the U.S. Navy released the names of three sailors who had been reported missing after a plane crash in the Pacific: Steven Combs, Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Airman Matthew Chialastri, and Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Apprentice Bryan Grosso. The men went missing after their plane crashed into the Philippine Sea on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017.

“Lt. Combs, who is a Florida native, was assigned to the ‘Providers’ of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron and was part of the carrier Air Wing Five while aboard the Ronald Reagan,” according to Fox News. Chialastri, from Louisiana, and Grosso, a Florida native, were also both assigned to the Ronald Reagan.

The three men were aboard a C2-A Greyhound transport, twin-engine cargo plane. According to CNN, “the C2-A that crashed belongs to a Japan-based squadron that generally flied cargo and passengers between shores and the USS Ronald Reagan.” The plane was carrying passengers from the Marine Corps Air Station in Iwakuni, Japan. The plane was designed to ship supplies and passengers to and from aircraft carriers and was on a route to the carrier USS Ronald Reagan when it crashed about 500 nautical miles southeast of Okinawa, Japan.

The search and rescue mission held by the Navy ended on Thursday, November 23. The search and rescue mission included seven U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships, three helicopter squadrons, and maritime patrol aircraft. The aircraft and ships covered about 1,000 square nautical miles during the search for the men. Eight other passengers of the 11 from the plane were rescued after a two-day search led by the USS Ronald Reagan.

Military officials are still looking for the cause of the crash. According to USA Today, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera has said to reporters that the U.S. military has told him that they believe the plane fell due to engine troubles.

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