A sailor attached to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 195, Atsugi Naval Air Facility, died Sunday after a motorcycle-racing incident at Ebisu Circuit in Fukushima Prefecture north of Tokyo.

The sailor, whose name was not released pending next-of-kin notification, died at a local hospital at 2:50 p.m., according to a Navy release. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service has assumed jurisdiction and is investigating, said Lt. Cmdr. John Bernard, Carrier Strike Group 5 spokesman.

Ebisu Circuit is a racing facility that lets amateur motorcycle and automobile enthusiasts pay a fee to ride on their courses.

Bernard said the sailor had completed the mandatory Motorcycle Safety Foundation safety course required to operate a motorcycle on a military base and the MSF’s experienced-rider course, which the Navy doesn’t require.

“In either case, these courses neither teach, condone nor encourage the racing of motorcycles or operating them in an unsafe manner,” Bernard said.

No information was available about the sailor’s injuries. The Navy was arranging to transport his remains to Misawa Air Base for autopsy, then to a location to be requested by the sailor’s family, Bernard said. “The Navy’s thoughts and prayers are with the family in this difficult time and the Navy is thankful to the family for allowing this sailor to serve.”

Bernard also said VFA 195 grieves for the loss of one of its sailors. “He was part of the VFA 195 ‘Chippy’ family,” he said. Chippy is the squadron’s informal name.

A memorial service is scheduled for Wednesday at Hangar 1430 at Atsugi, Bernard said. Time of the service had not been determined Monday, he said.

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