Thank you for your very beautiful, kind message. The helicopter and its crew
was indeed assigned to the same rescue units that participated in search and
rescue efforts in Operation Tomodachi. They train everyday to rescue others
in dangerous situations - they are amongst the bravest Airmen of all at
Kadena. We don’t yet know what caused the accident, but the crew was very
well-trained. I believe the crew did their best.
Three of the four crew members were recovered and received medical treatment
at US Naval Hospital Okinawa on Camp Foster. They are in stable condition,
and we are so grateful for that. Sadly, human remains were also found at the
crash site. Consequently, the search for the fourth member has been
suspended. Please keep the family of the fourth member in your thoughts and
let’s both wish them peace.
We appreciate your condolence and support during this difficult time. We
will work to determine what caused the accident. We will also continue to
train rigorously and preserve peace and stability in the East-Asia region.
We are absolutely committed to the defense of Japan. We will continue to
stand ready with well-trained service members, even during this challenging
Again, thank you for your message. I will it share with the leadership at
Kadena Air Base.