In a recent update, military officials have confirmed the discovery of a debris field in South Carolina during the search for a missing F-35 fighter jet, following a reported “mishap” on Sunday. The debris was located in Williamsburg County, approximately two hours northeast of Joint Base Charleston. Command of the operation is now being transitioned to the Marine Corps.
During the incident, the pilot executed a “safely ejected” maneuver, as per earlier reports from authorities. The Marine Corps issued a statement on Sunday, indicating that they are actively gathering information and assessing the situation. An investigation into the mishap is underway, with officials refraining from providing further details to ensure the integrity of the investigative process.
In their latest statement on Monday, officials expressed gratitude towards their mission partners, along with local, county, and state authorities, for their unwavering dedication and support throughout the search effort and as they shift towards the recovery phase.
Additionally, Marine Corps acting commandant, Eric Smith, announced a two-day stand-down focused on safety and procedures. This stand-down will take place sometime this week and will involve all aviation units, both within and outside the United States. Smith, while expressing full confidence in the aviation units, deemed this measure to be the “right and prudent” course of action in light of both this incident and a recent event in Australia.