The 18th Wing commander issued a brief statement Tuesday apologizing for Monday’s incident in which two Air Force F-15s made contact with one another while on a training mission more than 120 miles off Okinawa’s coast.
“We know that this incident causes concern, and we regret its occurrence,” said Brig. Gen. Jan-Marc Jouas. “Please be assured, at no time was there a danger to Okinawa communities. Flight safety is of highest concern to us, and we take the utmost measures to ensure a safe operational environment.”
The two planes bumped Monday afternoon, damaging a wing on one plane and vertical stabilizers on the other. Both aircraft were able to return to Kadena Air Base safely and land with no injuries to the pilots. According to Kadena base officials, the aircraft returned to base using an over-water approach, avoiding populated areas.
The cause of the incident is under investigation.