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Pilot safely ejects U.S. Air Force jet just before crash near Okinawa

June 10 (UPI) — A U.S. Air Force F-15C fighter jet crashed into the sea near Okinawa, Japan on Monday morning local time, but the pilot was able to safely eject, officials said.

“Around 0636 this morning, a Kadena F-15C Eagle crashed in the water south of Okinawa,” the Kadena Air Force Base said in a tweet. “The pilot successfully ejected and was safely recovered by Search and Rescue teams.”

The pilot was the only person on board the aircraft.

A joint effort between the United States and Japan was coordinated to locate the pilot after the crash.

“Huge thank you to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force search and rescue team out of Naha Air Base this morning. Your quick response proves once again how valuable an asset you are to the U.S./Japanese alliance,” the Kaena Air Force Base tweeted,

Officials said the aircraft was conducting a routine training mission when it crashed.

According to Stars and Stripes, this is the 12th crash involving U.S. military aircraft this year.

Last month, an Air Force T-38C Talon crashed near the Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi. Both pilots on board were able to safely eject and treated for minor injuries.

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