A 21-year-old airman stationed at Kadena Air Base who went missing while surfing in Okinawa was found dead Nov. 27.

Senior Airman Jeremieh Soroten, who was assigned to the 18th Wing’s 18th Munitions Squadron, was surfing near Cape Hedo, at the northernmost point of Okinawa, on Nov. 22 when he disappeared at about 10 a.m.

Air Force units and the Japanese Coast Guard immediately began searching for Soroten, but were unsuccessful. He was found dead at Cape Hedo, near where he went missing, five days after disappearing, the Air Force said in a Saturday release.

According to the Air Force Personnel Center, Soroten was a munitions controller who entered active duty in August 2017. His awards included the Air Force Achievement Medal.

“Simple words cannot describe the feeling of loss felt by the men and women of Freedom’s Arsenal,” 18th Munitions Squadron commander Maj. Reco Doughty said, referring to the squadron by its nickname.

“Jeremieh was a cherished member of our squadron,” Doughty continued. “He was the type of airman that seasoned senior noncommissioned officers saw the brighter parts of themselves in and his peers would do well to emulate. His time with the unit will leave an indelible mark on those fortunate enough to have met him. Jeremieh will be sorely missed.”

Kadena said that the cause of Soroten’s death is not yet known, and an investigation is currently under way.

Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter at Defense News. He previously reported for Military.com, covering the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare. Before that, he covered U.S. Air Force leadership, personnel and operations for Air Force Times.

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