The airman, assigned to Kadena’s 18th Wing, was surfing near Cape Hedo Sunday when he disappeared at about 10 a.m., the base said in a release Monday morning. Kadena did not release the name of the airman. Cape Hedo is at the northernmost point of Okinawa.
The Japanese Coast Guard conducted search and rescue operations for the airman during daylight hours Sunday, Kadena said, and the 31st and 33rd Rescue Squadrons took over those operations last night and through Monday morning. The Japanese Coast Guard resumed the search on Monday.
F-22A Raptors have returned to Kadena Air Base in Japan for the first time in more than three years, the Air Force said.
“We are doing everything in our power to locate our missing airman,” Brig. Gen. Joel Carey, commander of the 18th Wing, said in the release. “We greatly appreciate the ongoing support from the Okinawan community along with the outpouring of thoughts and prayers. Our rescue squadrons, and the entirety of Team Kadena, will continue working closely with the Japanese Coast Guard to bring our airman home.”
Kadena said more information will be released as it becomes available.