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Coast Guard, local agencies searching for downed military aircraft near Santa Rosa

March 11, 2015

NEW ORLEANS – The Coast Guard and local agencies are searching for a downed military aircraft near Santa Rosa Sound, Florida, Wednesday.

Watchstanders at the 8th Coast Guard District Command Center received a report of a downed military aircraft at approximately 11 p.m., Tuesday. The aircraft reportedly had four Hammond, Louisiana-based National Guard aircrew and seven Camp Lejeune-based Marines.

The watchstanders directed the launch of Coast Guard small boatcrews from Stations Pensacola and Destin to conduct a search of the sound for the missing aircraft crew. The Station Destin small boatcrew arrived on scene around 11:20 p.m., and conducted search within the area.

Search area is approximately 17 miles by three miles focused within Santa Rosa Sound. A debris field consistent with a military aircraft was spotted by Coast Guard Station Destin small boatcrew at about 1:30 a.m., Wednesday.

The Coast Guard is working with the Eglin Air Force Incident Command Post, which consists of personnel from Escambia County Volunteer Services, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Okaloosa County Fire Department, Hurlburt Field Fire Department and Gulf Breeze Fire Department.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of the members involved in this incident,” said Layne Carter, search and rescue mission coordinator. “We are aggressively searching for possible survivors involved in the crash.”

For questions about the aircraft and crew contact Louisiana National Guard at 504-278-8286. For questions on the Marines aboard contact Marines Special Operations Command at 910-440-0770. For questions on the training mission contact Eglin Air Force Base at 850-882-3931.

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