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1 Marine killed, 5 others missing after 2 aircraft collide during mid-air refueling exercise

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Another Navy accident in the Pacific ?!?!?

-14 ( +11 / -25 )

Hope they find more survivors!!

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Of course the first comment is about 'another military accident'.

How about we worry about the missing crew first.

9 ( +21 / -12 )

Hope everyone is found safe.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Families of the crews think why they have to engage in dangerous missions for Japan. On the other hand, Japanese medias will report about dangers of activities of U.S. Forces in Japan. The Japanese government will announce it is regrettable and U.S. Forces have to be more careful about their operations. If it had happened near Okinawa, it would have encouraged anti-base movement.

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

"Another Navy accident..."?

It seems to be the Marines.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Poor soldiers. Always danger up in sky.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@burninbush Another Navy accident in the Pacific ?!?!?

There do seem to be problems, but maybe when you consider how dangerous and difficult many of these operations are, and how many are conducted error free, that's understandable.

It would be interesting to read about accidents had by Chinese and Russian navies for comparison. But given both nations are run by totalitarian regimes that control their media it's probably impossible to get accurate - and honest - information.

Hoping for good news.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

A few comments here off topic.

I guess the US military around Japan would have a high operational tempo and unfortunately accidents are likely to happen from time to time as a result.

Hope all can be recovered safely.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

After the spate of accidents last year I asked my dad (retired Navy) what he thought was going on, his opinion was these days a lot of training that had been lectures (face-to-face instructor, writing your own notes by hand) is now being done online to reduce costs, hands-on simulator time also reduced for the same reason compared to when he was young, he thinks procedures stick in the mind less than the old way. That's the opinion of an old fart, there are probably other factors as well.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

First, here’s to everyone being found safe. Secondly, to better ensure the safety of these service men and women, something needs to change, either back to how it was or a more safety secure future. Too many accidents happening for it just to be “These things happens”.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Sad. Hopefully they are found safe.

We seem to be crashing a lot of military equipment over in that neck of the woods lately.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

hope everyone is safe

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Why does the U.S. Marine Corps possess fighter and attack jets like F/A-18 and air-refueling tankers like KC-130 in the first place? Aren't they infringing upon the jurisdiction of Air Force?

-14 ( +1 / -15 )

 Aren't they infringing upon the jurisdiction of Air Force?

No, the Marine Corps aviation has been around since WW2 and supports Marine Corp operations globally, as planners saw it prudent to provide America’s main strike force with dedicated air support.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

One of the planes was a "tanker". What happened to all the gas that was being carried by the plane? Is it now in the Pacific Ocean?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Semper fi.  Seems like lots of accidents lately.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When you are ALWAYS preparing and doing routine but dangerous things night and day 24/7, accidents are going to happen. I don't know the full details but in-flight refueling is routine nowadays and still extremely dangerous. When I was in the U.S. Navy, my ship did underway refueling with many different navies on a regular basis and had several accidents, but none caused any injuries, thank God. Think about inclement weather, extreme cold or heat, very unstable platforms moving at speed (even moreso dealing with airplanes), low visibility, heavy seas, etc and you may understand how difficult these things can be to get done. This is big news and I guess it should be that way. However, there is no threat to anyone in Japan and we should be hoping the PEOPLE involved are all found safe.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

My question is why they need to have fighter jests and the air-refueling tankers that will help the fighter jets fly a long distance nonstop. Aren't such functions and capabilities specifically for the Air Force?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I'd be willing to bet it's the fighter's fault, since they are the ones that approach the tanker and then bank away afterwards, while the tanker flies straight and level.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

while the tanker flies straight and level.

actually they mostly fly in a large circle so as to not fly too far away from their base, saves fuel in not having to return back to base if they flew in a straight and level

1 ( +2 / -1 )

figher jets can fly twice as far and get there much quicker if they have refueling midair, no need to waste time landing refueling and taking off again. response times are critical in any wars.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@voiceofokinawa

All branches have their own aviation for varying missions. There is no conspiracy.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Again!!

What is going on with these crashes with the US Armed Forces?

I wonder if theres cyber warfare or hacking or other things going on that isnt being disclosed.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

@ wtf - I've ridden the back of tanker aircraft during refueling. They fly straight and level during the actual refueling.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

One of the planes was a "tanker". What happened to all the gas that was being carried by the plane? Is it now in the Pacific Ocean?

Where else?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ive been an air craft buff for years, but I am struggling to think of what could have gone wrong, either way its a tragic accident, just hope they find the other crew still alive and well

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Aren't such functions and capabilities specifically for the Air Force?

To ensure rapid and effective air support of its ground elements, the USMC does what it can with its hand-me-down from the Navy budget. Ingenuity, initiative, do-it-yourself spirit are some of the things that make the USMC the world’s most effective strike force.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

extanker,

If that's every branch of the U.S. armed forces' policy, how could an outsider take issue with it?  It’s none of an outsider’s business or concern.  Even so, some doubts remain.

The Marines' venue of fighting a war is basically on the ground, and yet they need to be equipped with F/A fighter jets and the pilots must train mid-air refueling flight technics for long-distance hauling. Why is that?

Are the Marines stationed in Japan to really defend Japan and its vicinity as stipulated in the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty? Or do they have a theater which is way farther beyond Japan, in their strategic vision?

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

It seems that the US military should let JSDF have some roles of US Air Forces to protect own country. Japan has Air-SDF, let them do mid-air refueling as Japan has refueling tanker. They do it sometimes.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Evidently people dont understand the mission of the Marine Corp and make comments accordingly.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_air-ground_task_force

The Marines cant always rely on the Navy for air to ground support so they need their own air wings and the capability of refueling said jets for combat and training missions.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Given the weird Japanese rule about people not being "dead" until a registered doctor declares them so I really hope that isn't the case with the 2nd person found. 10 hours is a long time in the Pacific Ocean without a life-raft, especially in December.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Given the weird Japanese rule about people not being "dead" until a registered doctor declares them so I really hope that isn't the case with the 2nd person found. 10 hours is a long time in the Pacific Ocean without a life-raft, especially in December.

First off it's not a "rule" it's a law, Secondly what difference does it make about a Japanese doctor, they were US Military and they will make the decision.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I pray the remaining members are found safe.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One crew member of 7 has been found. I suspect he was the navigator in the F/A-18 Hornet, who managed to eject quickly enough, but for the rest, realistically, it's more than likely sadly RIP .

Mid air refueling is a really dangerous task, any number of reasons could have led to a sudden explosion, so it may not even have been a collision, simply an ignited fuel line.

Take a look at the following, and listen to the commentary:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiN9M0ahfmM

Also...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMkWy4b7w-Y

So as @voiceofokinawa hinted at, the speed mismatch between aircraft's stability under certain weather conditions is a factor to be looked at here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@kwatt

Japan has Air-SDF, let them do mid-air refueling as Japan has refueling tanker. They do it sometimes.

Japan doesn't have any tanker aircraft of aircraft with mid-air refueling capability due to the constitution limiting offensive capabilities. Mid-air refueling isn't needed for SDF aircraft since they only operate within Japan so if it was added, it would be considered offensive.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The Marines' venue of fighting a war is basically on the ground, and yet they need to be equipped with F/A fighter jets and the pilots must train mid-air refueling flight technics for long-distance hauling. Why is that?

The same reason the Army has attack helicopters.

Are the Marines stationed in Japan to really defend Japan and its vicinity as stipulated in the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty? Or do they have a theater which is way farther beyond Japan, in their strategic vision?

Mid-air refueling also allows for longer operations. But if the need arises for those fighters to head elsewhere, they will and mid-air refueling will allow that. There's nothing in the security treaty that says they can't.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It would be interesting to read about accidents had by Chinese and Russian navies for comparison. But given both nations are run by totalitarian regimes that control their media it's probably impossible to get accurate - and honest - information.

Also, would be interesting to read about accidents had by Angolan, Zimbabwean, Gabonese armed forces for further comparison.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I pray they find the 5 missing marines alive.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

extanker,

There's nothing in the security treaty that says they can't.

Of course, the Security Treaty doesn't say the Marines can't practice mid-air refueling. Note, however, that the Security Treaty doesn't mention anything about a military branch called the Marines, either. Only three branches, the Army. Navy, Air Force, are mentioned in it.

Furthermore, mid-air refueling may not only be for what you describe but it also allows fighter jets to go to battle grounds that are far beyond Japan and engage in a war that has nothing to do with Japan, for example, another Gulf War or an Iraq War. Isn't that a treaty violation?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Of course, the Security Treaty doesn't say the Marines can't practice mid-air refueling. Note, however, that the Security Treaty doesn't mention anything about a military branch called the Marines, either. Only three branches, the Army. Navy, Air Force, are mentioned in it.

Does not mean they are not included, as when the treaty was written they were still a part of the US Navy, they became an official branch of their own later. It does not make the treaty invalid, as you constantly seem to think it does.

Also, as a part of the US Forces Japan they are included under the SOFA and Treaty so this is a non-issue!

Furthermore, mid-air refueling may not only be for what you describe but it also allows fighter jets to go to battle grounds that are far beyond Japan and engage in a war that has nothing to do with Japan, for example, another Gulf War or an Iraq War. Isn't that a treaty violation?

No it is not, as the US military is not bound under the same laws as the SDF , another non-issue!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Note, however, that the Security Treaty doesn't mention anything about a military branch called the Marines, either. Only three branches, the Army. Navy, Air Force, are mentioned in it.

Why bother asking why the Marines have their own aircraft if you were going to go all the way back to this old conspiracy? It doesn't matter if they fly in rubber band powered hang-gliders if you're still clinging to this insane notion that Marines are in Japan illegally.

Furthermore, mid-air refueling may not only be for what you describe but it also allows fighter jets to go to battle grounds that are far beyond Japan and engage in a war that has nothing to do with Japan, for example, another Gulf War or an Iraq War. Isn't that a treaty violation?

As long as the stipulations of the treaty are met, the US can do whatever else it deems necessary with its forces.

Does not mean they are not included, as when the treaty was written they were still a part of the US Navy, they became an official branch of their own later. It does not make the treaty invalid, as you constantly seem to think it does.

Even better, they are still a part of the Department of the Navy, but despite it being explained to death, voiceofokinawa refuses to accept it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

extanker,

... as when the treaty was written they were still a part of the US Navy, they became an official branch of their own later. It does not make the treaty invalid, as you constantly seem to think it does.

You say when the treaty was signed the Marines were part of the Navy, implying their presence is in accord with the treaty. But since they are an independent branch of their own now, their presence violates the treaty stipulation. You must either scrap it or write a new treaty.. As it is, the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is a farce.

The fact that they are subsumed under the Department of the Navy doesn't  ensure they are part of the Navy as a military branch. The Marines are under the Department of the Navy just for the sake of its history and administrative convenience. The Department of the Navy is not a military branch.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The fact that they are subsumed under the Department of the Navy doesn't  ensure they are part of the Navy as a military branch. The Marines are under the Department of the Navy just for the sake of its history and administrative convenience. The Department of the Navy is not a military branch.

For starters... what doesn’t any of this have to do with the tragic accident and loss of life?

Secondly... There’s nothing convienient about someone else controlling your budget and policy. Unless it’s not really someone else because you fall under that eepartment. Oh, and those aircraft that’s say Marines are actually owned by the Navy much like all medical personnel with the Marines. Why? Because the Navy and Marine Corps are one in the same aka Naval Services.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

extanker,

... as when the treaty was written they were still a part of the US Navy, they became an official branch of their own later. It does not make the treaty invalid, as you constantly seem to think it does.

You say when the treaty was signed the Marines were part of the Navy, implying their presence is in accord with the treaty. But since they are an independent branch of their own now, their presence violates the treaty stipulation. You must either scrap it or write a new treaty.. As it is, the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is a farce.

3rdly I wrote the comment you are quoting, not extanker, next your opinion, is your opinion, and that's it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

CyburneticTiger,

For starters... what doesn’t any of this have to do with the tragic accident and loss of life?

The crashed aircraft belong to the Marines based in Iwakuni. If the Marines' stationing in Japan is subject to scrutiny in light of the Security Treaty, then this accident has much to do with the security treaty.

Secondly... There’s nothing convenient about someone else controlling your budget and policy

So in your opinion, the Marines must be divorced from and independent of the Department of the Navy administratively as well. That's fine, but it's up to you to decide, which is none of our business.

All I can point out is that, today, the Marines are a different military organization (branch) independent of the Navy. If so, then they are blatantly breaching the bilateral agreement, that is the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

If so, then they are blatantly breaching the bilateral agreement, that is the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.

Just because you say it does not make it so, and the lack of something not specifically excluded does not make it illegal, nor "breaching" anything either.

The US Coast Guard used to be stationed here in Japan as well, and they were not specifically identified in the treaty either, and yet they are also one of the armed services of the United States.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

extanker,

Japan does indeed have air tankers, four KC767s based at Komaki.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If the Marines' stationing in Japan is subject to scrutiny in light of the Security Treaty, then this accident has much to do with the security treaty.

Scrutiny at a time like this is a very indecent and inappropriate thing to do. It speaks volumes of someone’s character.

I’ve seen in two separate articles you have demonstrated that you have no understanding of the Marine Corps’ mission, it’s organizational layout, and how the Marine Corps falls under the Navy. Just listen to the patient people trying to teach you. We actually know what we are talking about... it’s also all over google.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What is really important is the safety of the five marines. There needs to be a better system to find missing crew members.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@kwatt

My apologies, I stand corrected. Last I heard was that the US designed JASDF fighters had refueling capabilities removed to meet with the constitution requirements but I see that has changed (or I was wrong all along). Either way, thanks for correcting me.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

CyburneticTiger,

... you have demonstrated that you have no understanding of the Marine Corps’ mission, it’s organizational layout, and how the Marine Corps falls under the Navy.

The fact that the Marine Corps started as an arm of the Navy historically, that administratively it's under the Department of the Navy (an administrative body overlooking both the Navy and the Marine Corps and, until recently, the Coast Guard), and that the name "Marines" signifies soldiers relating to the sea doesn't ensure that the Marines are the bona fide Navy. 

They are one of the 5 branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, thus being independent of the Navy.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

They are one of the 5 branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, thus being independent of the Navy.

Why is it that only you make this claim out of the billions of people who live on planet earth?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yubaru,

WIKIPEDIA describes the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff as follows:

*The composition of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is defined by statute and consists of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS), Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (VCJCS), the Military Service Chiefs from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force, and the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, all appointed by the President following Senate confirmation*

If this description is correct, the Marine Corps is independent of and never subsumed under the Navy. The incumbent chairman is a Marine general -- General Joseph Dunford, USMC.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

If this description is correct, the Marine Corps is independent of and never subsumed under the Navy. The incumbent chairman is a Marine general -- General Joseph Dunford, USMC.

You still dont understand the meaning of the word "cooperation". The Marines cooperate closely with the Navy and are independent as well.

However that does not mean they are not covered under the treaty, even you must admit times and situations change.

Your attempt to make the argument that they are not covered under the treaty is moot, and only you out of the billions of people on the planet work so hard to put a square plug into a round hole. It's never going to work.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yubaru,

You still dont understand the meaning of the word "cooperation". The Marines cooperate closely with the Navy and are independent as well.

Don't the other branches of the U.S. armed forces cooperate closely with each other, especially in the times of crisis? The Marines and the Navy may have that cooperation more systematized. But just because it is so, you can't say the Marines are a subsidiary arm of the Navy.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Don't the other branches of the U.S. armed forces cooperate closely with each other, especially in the times of crisis? The Marines and the Navy may have that cooperation more systematized. But just because it is so, you can't say the Marines are a subsidiary arm of the Navy.

No matter how much you try to twist the words, the results are the same, the US Marines are here to stay, and nothing you comment on about the legalities, or treaties matters.

It's a non-issue, anyone can understand that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

yubaru,

No matter how much you try to twist the words, the results are the same, the US Marines are here to stay, and nothing you comment on about the legalities, or treaties matters.

Very interesting rejoinder. No matter what I may say, the Marines are here to stay? The legality of their stay doesn't matter?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The legality of their stay doesn't matter?

There is no question about legality.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One would think that those who matter would have considered the so-called "legality" aspects of any of the branches of the services being here in Japan.

Yet isn't it funny, in a sad way, that there are those who think they know better than all the scholars, lawyers, judges, and truly educated people who are protesting against the bases here in Okinawa and Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

 No matter what I may say, the Marines are here to stay? 

If your name is Abe Shinzo THEN it might matter, but otherwise, no, no matter what you say, it doesnt matter!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yubaru,

Article 6 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty stipulates:

"For the purpose of contributing to the security of Japan and the maintenance of international peace and security in the Far East, the United States of America is granted the use by its land, air and naval forces of facilities and areas in Japan."

To rephrase, it says that in return for the defense of Japan and its vicinity (Far East), U.S. land, air and naval forces can use bases and areas in Japan. The Japanese version, which has the same legal force as the English version, specifies what these land, air and naval forces are. They are the Army, Air Force and Navy. No mention of the Marine Corps. 

So strictly speaking, the U.S. Marines are stationed in Japan (Okinawa) in violation of this treaty provision. The burden then is on your part to prove that the Marines are the genuine Navy.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

United States of America is granted the use by its land, air and naval forces of facilities and areas in Japan."

There you have it! Thank you for confirming it by your own words!

The Marines are both an air and land force! End of story!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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