A F-16 at Misawa Air Base, Japan on Oct 22, 2010 (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse/Released)

A US Air Force F-16 based at Misawa Air Base in Japan was reported to have crashed Sunday morning off of Japan’s Northern coast. According to Misawa Air Base web site, the F-16 crashed at about 11:30am local time (10:30pm New York City time) about 250 miles off of Hokkaido’s Island in the North Pacific sea where efforts to locate the sole pilot on board the aircraft at the time of the crash were underway. The New York Times citing Japan’s Coast Guards, indicated that the aircraft went down at 1000 km (621 miles) off of Japan’s northernmost coastline. The aircraft which had taken off from Misawa Air base, the Joint Facility housing US Navy, US Air Force and Army and even Japan Air Self Defense Forces 3rd Air Wing units is likely to be a F-16CJ Block 50 aircraft belonging to either the 13th or 14th Fighter Squadron that form the 35th Fighter Wing. These aircraft, configured as ‘Wild Weasel’ are notorious for their role in SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defense) missions in which they literally duel against enemy surface-to-air missile batteries. This past May, F-16 pilots attached to the 35th Fighter Wing took place in the Diesel Weasel exercise, conducting close air support bombing and strafing missions at the Draughon Range in Japan. The 35th Fighter Wing aircraft are frequent visitors to Kunsan Air Force Base, Republic of Korea where they undergo Operational Readiness Evaluation under Pacific Air Force command.

 

 

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