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Remains of one airman aboard Osprey that crashed in Japan recovered, Air Force says

<i>Japan Coast Guard/Reuters</i><br/>Pictured is the wreckage believed to belong to the U.S. military aircraft MV-22 Osprey that crashed into the sea off Yakushima Island
Japan Coast Guard/Reuters
Pictured is the wreckage believed to belong to the U.S. military aircraft MV-22 Osprey that crashed into the sea off Yakushima Island

By Haley Britzky, CNN

Washington (CNN) — The remains of one airman who was aboard the Air Force CV-22B Osprey that crashed off the coast of Yakushima Island, Japan, on Wednesday have been recovered, the Air Force said Friday.

“Seven Airmen are in DUSTWUN status meaning ‘duty status-whereabouts unknown,’” a release on Friday from Air Force Special Operations Command said. “At this time, we can confirm one set of remains has been recovered.”

The Air Force on Saturday identified the airman recovered from the crash as 24-year-old Staff Sgt. Jacob M. Galliher of Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

As search and rescue operations are continuing, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said Friday that all V-22 Ospreys in Japan are undergoing maintenance and safety checks, while the unit to which the crashed CV-22 belonged is “not conducting flight operations.”

“The unit of the CV-22 that had the accident is not conducting flight operations. All V22 Ospreys in Japan operate only after undergoing thorough maintenance and safety checks,” Singh said. “We have already started sharing information about the accident with our Japanese partners, and have pledged to continue to do so in a timely and transparent manner.”

According to the Air Force’s news release, the ongoing search and rescue operations consist of “air, surface, and subsurface search of water and coastline in the vicinity of Yakushima, Japan.” Among the units involved in the search are the Japanese Coast Guard, Japanese Self-Defense Forces, Pacific Air Forces, US Pacific Fleet, US Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, Special Operations Command Pacific and 1st Special Forces Group.

The CV-22 Osprey was conducting a “routine training mission” at the time of the “mishap” on Wednesday, the Air Force has said previously. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Singh said Friday the “safety of our service members and Japanese communities is a top priority for the United States.”

“The United States is taking all appropriate safety measures, as we do for every flight and every operation,” she said.

The Osprey has a history of mechanical and operational issues, and has been involved in several fatal incidents over the last 30 years.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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