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A Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 224 F/A-18 Hornet conducts an aerial refuel utilizing a KC-130J in coorlation with Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course in Yuma, Ariz., April 10.

Six American warplane crew members are missing after two aircraft crashed into the Pacific Ocean off Japan's south-western coast in a midair collision.

The 2 planes - an F-18 fighter and a C-130 tanker - were involved in a "mishap about 200 miles off of the coast of Japan around 2:00 am" according to a statement from the US Marines in Japan.

A US Marine Corps F-18 fighter takes off from the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military base in Aviano, Italy.

The US Marine Corps says its aircraft were involved in a "mishap" off the coast of Japan, and a search-and-rescue operation is underway.

US Marine aircraft suffer 'mishap' off Japanese coast, search-and-rescue underway

Josef Patterson, a spokesman with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, told Marine Corps Times.

It said in a statement that the accident is under investigation and gave no further details.

Five crewmembers were aboard the Hercules and two were on the Hornet, the AP report said.

In November, a USA navy fighter jet crashed into the sea off Japan's southern island of Okinawa and its 2 crew members were rescued alive. When pilots want to refuel, they steer a boom attached to the front of their aircraft into a drogue receptacle that looks like a basket on the end of the KC-130's refueling hose, he said.

More than 50,000 USA troops are based in Japan under the bilateral security pact.





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