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Navy names the three sailors lost at sea after aircraft crash off Okinawa

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The Navy today released the identity of its three sailors lost after their C-2A Greyhound aircraft went into the drink Wednesday: Lt. Steven Combs, Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) Airman Matthew Chialastri and Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Apprentice Bryan Grosso.

An investigation into the crash is ongoing, the Navy said. The names were released only after the next-of-kin were notified and the search-and-rescue operations were shut down.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these sailors,” said Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer, commander of U.S. Seventh Fleet.

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“Their service and sacrifice will be lasting in Seventh Fleet and we will continue to stand the watch for them, as they did bravely for all of us,” he said.

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Lt. Steven Combs, assigned to the Providers of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30. Lt. Combs is one of three Sailors lost when their C-2A Greyhound crashed while conducting a routine transport flight carrying passengers and cargo from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni to USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), Nov 22, 2017. (Navy photo)

The Navy also provided short biographies of the lost men.

Combs, a native of Florida, was assigned to the “Providers” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30 and embarked aboard Ronald Reagan as part of Carrier Air Wing Five. His previous duty assignments include the “Greyhawks” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 120, the Center for Security Forces Detachment Kittery Point, in Portsmouth, N.H., and Training Wing 4, in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Chialastri, a native of Louisiana, was assigned to Ronald Reagan. His previous duty stations include USS America (LHA 6), Patrol Squadron Thirty (VP-30), the “Pro’s Nest,” in Jacksonville, Fla., and the Center for Security Forces Detachment Kittery Point, in Portsmouth, N.H.

Grosso, a native of Florida was assigned to Ronald Reagan. His previous duty stations include the Naval Air Technical Training Center in Pensacola, Fla., and the Naval Recruit Training Center in Great Lakes, Ill.

USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) led combined search and rescue efforts with units from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.

Over the course of two days of continuous search efforts for the sailors, ships and aircraft covered nearly 1,000 square nautical miles.

Aviation BoatswainÕs Mate (Equipment) Airman Matthew Chialastri, assigned to USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). Airman Chialastri is one of three Sailors lost when their C-2A Greyhound crashed while conducting a routine transport flight carrying passengers and cargo from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni to USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), Nov. 22, 2017. (Navy photo)

“The thoughts and prayers of the entire team onboard Ronald Reagan go out to the families and friends of our fallen shipmates,” said Capt. Michael Wosje, Commander, Carrier Air Wing Five (CVW 5).

“We are thankful for our professional search and rescue teams and their incredible bravery. The entire Navy team is working together to investigate the cause of this mishap and we will remain focused on our mission to operate forward in a safe and professional manner to ensure peace and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, “Wosje said.

“The C-2A Greyhound, assigned to VRC 30, crashed en route to Ronald Reagan Nov. 22 while operating in the Philippine Sea,” he said.

Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Apprentice Bryan Grosso, assigned to USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). Airman Apprentice Grosso is one of three Sailors lost when their C-2A Greyhound crashed while conducting a routine transport flight carrying passengers and cargo from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni to USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), Nov. 22, 2017. (Navy photo)

 

The aircraft was carrying 11 crew and passengers at the time.

Eight personnel were recovered on scene after the crash by Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC 12).

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Big League National Security

Aircraft Carrier Commander Warns of Rapidly Spreading Coronavirus On Ship

There are more than 50 diagnoses on board.

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The commander of a US Navy aircraft carrier is requesting urgent guidance from the Pentagon as an outbreak of the Chinese coronavirus spreads among its crew.

Captain Brett Crozier stated that “the spread of the disease is ongoing and accelerating” in a letter to the Secretary of the Navy on Monday. Reports indicate that more than 50 sailors assigned to the ship have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, presenting a serious danger for those currently on board.

Crozier described an urgent situation in his letter to the Pentagon.

This will require a political solution but it is the right thing to do.” Crozier was calling for means to quarantine the entire crew of his ship away from the vessel. “We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our Sailors.”

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Keeping over 4,000 young men and women on board the TR is an unnecessary risk and breaks faith with those Sailors entrusted to our care.”

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier is currently docked at a naval base at the Pacific island of Guam. The crew of the ship is quarantined to the vessel on account of the outbreak, although five service members in serious medical conditions were taken to shore.

It’s extremely difficult to practice social distancing aboard the innately close-quarters environment of a naval vessel. The coronavirus has already proven capable of spreading with devastating effect aboard cruise ships, vessels that afford far more personal space to their inhabitants than aircraft carriers.

As of Tuesday night, the Navy is reported to be seeking a solution to quarantine the ship’s four-thousand strong crew at a location away from the Theodore Roosevelt. Sailors may be removed away from the ship in increments, returning after 14-day isolation periods after which they test negative for the disease.

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