DVIDS – News – Yakushima Fisheries Cooperative Association Hosts Lunch for Joint Partners Assigned to CV-22 Osprey Recovery Efforts
U.S. Navy Story by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chelsea D. Meiller, Naval Special Warfare Group 1 Public Affairs
YAKUSHIMA ISLAND, Japan – The Yakushima Fisheries Cooperative Association hosted a homemade curry lunch for joint partners currently engaged in ongoing CV-22 Osprey recovery efforts on Yakushima Island, Dec. 22, 2023.
Joint U.S. and Japanese partners have been working cooperatively on search and recovery efforts for almost a month and the lunch served as a time for them to come together in appreciation for all the work they’ve accomplished so far.
“The help our Japanese allies have put in since day one has been absolutely invaluable” said Maj. Jake McCauley, Mission Support Center Joint Operations Center (MSS JOC) Yakushima Island Commander. “The support from the Yakushima Fisheries Cooperative Association, Yakushima local people, and all the other Japanese assets that have had a hand in the recovery efforts for our Airmen is deeply appreciated. We are incredibly grateful to them all.”
On Nov 29, a CV-22 Osprey, assigned to the 21st Special Operations Squadron of the 353rd Special Operations Wing, was lost in a mishap off the shore of Yakushima Island. Since the mishap occurred, multiple U.S. military units from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps; alongside the Japan Coast Guard, Japan Self-Defense Forces, local law enforcement, and Japanese civilian volunteers have been conducting intensive search, rescue and recovery operations.
Yakushima Island’s economy is largely centered around the fishing industry, and the support from the Yakushima Fisheries Cooperative Association has been a critical piece of support in the efforts.
“We share the desire to help our comrades and families, though our fishing operations have been affected in a way,” said a representative from the Yakushima Fisheries Cooperative Association. “Although this kind of activity, like offering curry, is all we can do, we would like to continue cooperating with the U.S.”
The Yakushima Fisheries Cooperative Association has volunteered port space for recovery team members to launch combat rubber raiding crafts, unmanned underwater vehicles, dive team members and more to aid in the search efforts.
Since the outset of operations, U.S. and Japanese forces and civilians numbering more than 850 military personnel and more than 100 local civilians have spent 24 days on 24-hour operations in search of the eight Airmen that were on board the CV-22 at the time of the mishap. The search has utilized aircraft, unmanned aerial systems and sea vessels to search more than 50,000 km of the ocean’s surface, and utilized divers and unmanned underwater vehicles to search more than 69 sq km of ocean floor. The entirety of the 90 km coastline of Yakushima as well as the southern coastline of Tanegashima have also been searched on foot and by unmanned aerial vehicle.
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