An HH-60 Pave Hawk rescue helicopter assigned to the 18th Wing at Kadena AB, Japan, crashed during a training mission on Monday in Okinawa’s Central Training Area near Camp Hansen, announced wing officials. The crash occurred around 4 p.m. local time. US fire and rescue crews responded to the mishap scene. They recovered three of the helicopter’s crew. Those three airmen were in stable condition and received medical care for their injuries at the US naval hospital on the island, according to a wing release. The remaining crew member was still missing as of early Tuesday Kadena time. However, wing officials said rescuers on the scene had recovered yet-to-be-identified human remains at the crash site. Kadena officials said they’d release more details as they become available. 18th WG leadership suspended flying activities at the base on Tuesday for a day, except for operationally required missions. Officials said they did not know when the base’s HH-60s would resume flying. (See also initial Kadena release and second Kadena release.)
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.