US military identifies all 8 crew members of deadly Air Force Osprey crash near Japan #military #identifies #crew #members #deadly #Air #Force #Osprey #crash #Japan

Military officials have identified the service members who were on board the U.S. Air Force CV-22 Osprey that crashed last week off the shore of Yakushima Island, Japan.

An Air Force spokesperson said after days of “intensive, 24/7 search and rescue operations” for the eight Airmen involved in the crash on Nov. 29, that the U.S. military transitioned “search and rescue operations” to “search and recovery operations.” This transition happens when the determination is made that finding survivors is unlikely.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends and peers of all who are impacted by this mishap and loss of life,” said Lt. Gen. Tony Bauernfeind, Air Force Special Operations Command commander. “In times like these, where service to our nation is not just a personal commitment but also a legacy woven into the fabric of our families, the depth of sorrow is immeasurable. The honorable service of these eight Airmen to this great Nation will never be forgotten, as they are now among the giants who shape our history.”

One body, ultimately identified as Staff Sgt. Jake Galliher, of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, was recovered on Nov. 29, 2023, but the identities and statuses of the seven remaining Airmen were not known. On Tuesday, the Air Force officially changed their status from duty status-whereabouts unknown to deceased status. Their families were notified.

JAPANESE, US MILITARY DIVERS DISCOVER WRECKAGE, REMAINS IN SEARCH FOR OSPREY AIRCRAFT THAT CRASHED OFF JAPAN

A photo of an Osprey

A U.S. military CV-22 Osprey takes off from Iwakuni base, Yamaguchi prefecture, western Japan, on July 4, 2018. Japanese and American military divers have spotted what could be the remains of a U.S. Air Force Osprey aircraft that crashed last week off southwestern Japan and several of the six crew members who are still missing, local media reported Monday, Dec. 4, 2023. (Kyodo News via AP)

The deceased were then identified as:

  • U.S. Air Force Maj. Jeffrey T. Hoernemann, 32, of Andover, Minnesota — a CV-22 instructor pilot and officer in charge of training, assigned to the 21st Special Operations Squadron, 353rd Special Operations Wing, Yokota Air Base, Japan.
  • U.S. Air Force Maj. Eric V. Spendlove, 36, of St. George, Utah — a residency trained flight surgeon and medical operations flight commander assigned to the 1st Special Operations Squadron, 353rd Special Operations Wing, Kadena Air Base, Japan.
  • U.S. Air Force Maj. Luke A. Unrath, 34, of Riverside, California — a CV-22 pilot and flight commander assigned to the 21st Special Operations Squadron, 353rd Special Operations Wing, Yokota Air Base, Japan.
  • U.S. Air Force Capt. Terrell K. Brayman, 32, of Pittsford, New York — a CV-22 pilot and flight commander assigned to the 21st Special Operations Squadron, 353rd Special Operations Wing, Yokota Air Base, Japan.
  • U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Zachary E. Lavoy, 33, of Oviedo, Florida — a medical operations flight chief assigned to the 1st Special Operations Squadron, 353rd Special Operations Wing, Kadena Air Base, Japan.
  • U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jake M. Turnage, 25, of Kennesaw, Georgia — a flight engineer assigned to the 21st Special Operations Squadron, 353rd Special Operations Wing, Yokota Air Base, Japan.
  • U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Brian K. Johnson, 32, of Reynoldsburg, Ohio — a flight engineer assigned to the 21st Special Operations Squadron, 353rd Special Operations Wing, Yokota Air Base, Japan.

On Sunday, U.S. and Japanese military divers recovered some crew members’ remains and wreckage from the crash.

JAPAN SUSPENDS ALL OSPREY FLIGHTS AFTER DEADLY CRASH OF US AIR FORCE AIRCRAFT

The continued recovery operation will focus on “locating and recovering all remains and aircraft debris.”

Of the eight Airmen on the tilt-rotor aircraft at the time of the crash, the remains of three airmen have been recovered. The remains of three additional airmen have been located, and they are in the process of being recovered. The remains of two airmen have not yet been located.

Personnel and assets across five military branches alongside our Japanese allies supported the search and rescue operations and will continue to support recovery operations. These include the Japanese coast guard, Japan self-defense forces, United States Pacific Air Forces, United States Pacific Fleet, United States Marine Corps Forces, Pacific; Special Operations Command – Pacific; the 353rd Special Operations Wing, Kadena Air Base, Japan; 18th Wing, Kadena Air Base, Japan, and the 1st Special Forces Group.

A piece of the aircraft in water

In this photo provided by the Japanese coast guard, debris believed to be from a U.S. military Osprey aircraft is seen off the coast of Yakushima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture in Japan on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023. A crew member who was recovered from the ocean after a U.S. military Osprey aircraft carrying six people crashed Wednesday off southern Japan has been pronounced dead, coast guard officials said. (Japan Coast Guard via AP)

“On behalf of all of the joint U.S. teammates actively involved in the search, we want to extend our sincere gratitude to the Government of Japan’s Self Defense Force, Coast Guard, law enforcement, mariners, and local Yakushima civilian volunteers for their tireless assistance in the search and rescue operations for our Airmen,” said Rear Adm. Jeromy Williams, Special Operations Command – Pacific commander. “Their selfless dedication in our time of need demonstrates the ironclad bond between our nations. We are resolved to locating our aircrew and bringing them home to their families.”

Military personnel holding deris

The members of the Japanese coast guard carry the debris which are believed to be from the crashed U.S. military Osprey aircraft, at a port in Yakushima, Kagoshima prefecture, southern Japan, Monday, Dec. 4, 2023. Japanese and American military divers have spotted what could be the remains of a U.S. Air Force Osprey aircraft that crashed last week off southwestern Japan and several of the six crew members who are still missing, local media reported Monday. (Kyodo News via AP)

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Family members of those impacted by the crash are encouraged to contact the Emergency Family Assistance Cell at afsoc.efac.org@us.af.mil or 850-884-4494.

Fox News’ Ashley Cozzolino contributed to this report.

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