CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Japanese authorities were searching for the pilot of a downed F-15 fighter jet in the waters off Okinawa late Tuesday afternoon following a training crash earlier in the day, according to Japanese authorities.

Japanese aircraft and patrol boats were searching for the 37-year-old pilot at a site about 100 miles northwest of Naha where aircraft debris was found, authorities said.

The jet disappeared from Japan Air Self-defense Force radar around 10:30 a.m. A spokesman for Ministry of Defense’s Foreign Media Relations Office said that the aircraft’s speed break and part of a wing were found about an hour later.

Authorities said they were still unsure whether the pilot of the F-15 ejected before the apparent crash.

The U.S. Air Force was not assisting in the search Tuesday afternoon but had made the offer to Japanese forces and was standing by to provide assistance if requested, said 1st Lt. Natassia Cherne, spokeswoman for Kadena Air Base.

From staff reports

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