MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP BUTLER, Okinawa, Japan --
The III Marine Expeditionary Force commander, Lt. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson, announced a temporary operational pause for all AV-8B ‘Harrier’ jets following a mishap yesterday in the Pacific Ocean east of Okinawa.
The mishap resulted in the loss of a single jet. The pilot of the aircraft successfully ejected and was rescued by members of the 33rd Rescue Squadron, 18th Wing, U.S. Air Force out of Kadena Air Base, with assistance from the Japan Coast Guard. The pilot was the only individual involved in the mishap and has since been released from the hospital.
It is common practice for units to execute operational pauses following a significant mishap. During this period, every AV-8B will be inspected to ensure they meet operational readiness standards.
Each aircraft has a highly trained and dedicated maintenance crew. These crews conduct pre-flight inspections, pilot inspections, and post-flight inspections in conjunction with each scheduled flight mission.
An investigation into the cause of the mishap is underway.