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Two Navy F/A-18 Hornets Collide Midair Over The Pacific Ocean

September 12, 2014 - On Friday two Navy F/A-18 Hornets on a training exercise colliding over the western Pacific Ocean. The two aircraft are assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 94 and Strike Fighter Squadron 113. 

Both aircraft had departed from the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). One of the pilots was located and returned to the USS Carl Vinson, and is currently receiving medical attention. 

Two ships are searching for the second pilot, the cruiser USS Bunker and destroyer USS Gridley along with helicopters assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 15 and Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 73. 


The Carl Vinson which is based in San Diego and Carrier Air Wing 17 based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif. are currently underway in the U.S. 7th Fleet. On Monday the Carl Vinson is scheduled to participate in a military exercise, Valiant Shield, off the coast of Guam which will bring together 18,000 troops from across the U.S. services to test the military’s Air-Sea Battle concept. 

Forces from the U.S. Pacific Command are scheduled to participate in Exercise Valiant Shield (VS), scheduled for Sept. 15-23, on Guam and around the Marianas Island Range Complex. Participants include two aircraft carriers, 19 surface ships, more than 200 aircraft and an estimated 18,000 personnel from the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. 

Valiant Shield is a U.S. only, biennial field training exercise (FTX) with a focus on integration of joint training among U.S. forces. This training enables real world proficiency in sustaining joint forces through detecting, locating, tracking and engaging units at sea, in the air, on land and in cyberspace in response to a range of mission areas.

Update - September 15, 2014 - The Navy has identified the pilot killed in a fighter jet crash as Lt. Nathan Poloski, 26 of Southern California. The Navy has suspended the search for Poloski on Saturday after covering 3,000 square miles of vast ocean.



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