The United States and India agreed to resume the search in northeastern India for the remains of US military personnel lost in aircraft crashes during World War II, announced the Defense Department on June 5. DOD estimates that there are approximately 400 unaccounted-for US military personnel from some 90 aircraft crashes in the area during the war. “This is a critical step toward bringing home our service members lost during World War II,” stated Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Tuesday. He added, “The United States and India, working together, can help provide comfort to the families of Americans who were lost during the war.” The United States has information on 16 known crash sites and continues to develop information on others, according to DOD’s release. Panetta, on the back end of his Asia trip, arrived in India on June 5 for meetings with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Indian National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon.
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S. The bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.