The Navy announced at or around 8 p.m. Thanksgiving Day that it ended the search for three missing sailors lost in the Nov. 22 crash of a C-2A Greyhound Navy airplane in the Philippines Sea, roughly 500 miles off the coast of Okinawa.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with our lost shipmates and their families,” said Rear Adm. Marc Dalton, the commander of Task Force 70, the collection of Navy ships and aircraft operating in the western Pacific Ocean
“As difficult as this is, we are thankful for the rapid and effective response that led to the rescue of eight of our shipmates, and I appreciate the professionalism and dedication shown by all who participated in the search efforts, Dalton said.
USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) led the combined search and rescue efforts with units from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.
During the course of two days, seven U.S. Navy and JMSDF ships, three helicopter squadrons and maritime patrol aircraft covered nearly 1000 square nautical miles in the search for the missing sailors. Eight Sailors were immediately recovered from the crash and transferred to Ronald Reagan for medical evaluation. All are in good condition at this time. The Sailors names are being withheld pending completion of next of kin notifications.
The following ships and aircraft assisted in the search efforts: U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyers USS Stethem (DDG 63), USS Chafee (DDG 90) and USS Mustin (DDG 89); MH-60R Seahawk helicopters of the “Saberhawks” from U.S. Navy Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 77 and “Warlords” of HSM 51; MH-60S helicopters from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC-12); P-8 aircraft from the “Fighting Tigers” of U.S. Navy Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Squadron (VP) 8; P-3 Orion aircraft of the “Red Hook” U.S. Navy Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Squadron (VP) 40; JMSDF Helicopter Carrier JS Kaga (DDH 184) and JS Ise (DDH 182); JMSDF Akizuki-class destroyer JS Teruzuki (DD 116); JMSDF Murasame-class destroyer JS Samidare (DD 106), and JMSDF Hatakaze-class destroyer JS Shimakaze (DDG 172).
Locked and Loaded: Pentagon Grants Soldiers in DC Power to use Lethal Force
The National Guard have been authorized to use lethal force, if needed.
Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy has authorized the twenty thousand National Guard members providing security around the U.S. Capitol to carry lethal weapons as Washington, D.C., braces for Inauguration Day.
“On January 12, 2021, National Guardsmen were given authorization to be armed in support of the U.S. Capitol Police to protect the U.S. Capitol and individual members of Congress and their staff,” according to a statement from the D.C. National Guard, which is commanding Guard forces in the city, including units deployed from six other states, to provide security for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week,” the DC National Guard revealed in a statement “This was requested by federal authorities and authorized by the Secretary of the Army.”
The National Guard Bureau declined to specify what weapons troops would carry.
“National Guard members are postured to meet the requirements of the supported civil authorities, up to and including protective equipment and being armed if necessary,” said the statement. “The public’s safety is our top priority.”
Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, told media members on Monday that a force of up to 15,000 will deploy to D.C. with all their issued equipment, including their individual weapons. So if the need arises, “they are close by and they are readily accessible.”
The Pentagon initially authorized up to six thousand two hundred Guard members from Maryland, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania to deploy to D.C. on federal status to maintain security through Inauguration Day.
The history of National Guard members being a part of the presidential inauguration dates back to the first inauguration of President George Washington in 1789.
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