Two aviation mishaps involving Navy’s forward-deployed carrier in less than a month

Posted at 11:00 AM, Nov 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-13 17:19:40-05

YOKOSUKA, Japan - The crash of a Navy fighter jet into the Philippine Sea Monday marked the second aviation mishap involving the USS Ronald Reagan in less than a month's time.

The USS Ronald Reagan is the Navy's only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, permanently stationed in the U.S. 7th Fleet, headquartered in Yokosuka, Japan.

The Navy says the F/A-18 experienced a "mechanical issue" while conducting routine operations in the Philippine Sea.

The two crew members on the jet at the time were immediately recovered by the USS Ronald Reagan and brought back to the ship, where both were declared to be in "good condition," the Navy said.

The jet is assigned to Carrier Air Wing 5 currently embarked on the Reagan.

The mishap comes just a few days after the Reagan finished the Keen Sword exercise with units from the U.S. Air Force, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.

During the thirteen-day exercise, the USS Ronald Reagan Strike Group conducted "exchanges, replenishments-at-sea, senior leadership engagements, air-defense exercises, anti-submarine warfare exercises and a three day war-at-sea exercise," with Japan, according to the Navy.

In late October, multiple Sailors were injured when an MH-60R Seahawk helicopter made an emergency landing and crashed on the flight deck of the Reagan.

The October 19th crash happened shortly after take-off, with the Navy reporting Sailors suffered non-life threatening injuries including abrasions, lacerations, and fractures.

Nearly a year-ago, three Navy members were killed when a C-2A Greyhound on its way to the USS Ronald Reagan crashed in the Philippine Sea.

The Reagan operates in the 7th Fleet, the same area where two separate collisions involving Navy ships turned deadly in 2017.

The USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) collided with the ACX Crystal off the coast of Japan on June 17, 2017.

The USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) collided with the merchant vessel Alnic MC on August 21, 2017.

A total of 17 Sailors died during the two collisions.

Two top commanders in the Western Pacific were relieved of their duties as a result.

The Navy established The Readiness Reform and Oversight Council in January to manage and oversee the implementation of the recommendations that came about as a result of the Strategic Readiness Review and Comprehensive Review of Surface Force Incidents following the collisions.

Vice Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Bill Moran talked with News 3 about the 111 recommendations during an All Hands Call at Naval Station Norfolk in July.

The recent aviation crashes involving the fighter jet and helicopter are under investigation.