VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A locally-based U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 211 crashed in the Arabian Gulf Tuesday morning.
The crash happened around 1:30 p.m. (GMT) after launching from the USS Theodore Roosevelt. Navy officials said two aviators ejected from the aircraft and are expected to be okay.
Strike Fighter Squadron 211, the Fighting Checkmates, is based at Naval Air Station Oceana and is assigned to Carrier Air Wing 1. USS Theodore Roosevelt, with its embarked carrier air wing, is currently in the U.S. 5th Fleet supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, conducting strike operations against ISIL in Iraq and Syria.
Sen. Tim Kaine found out about the crash just before a Senate Armed Services sub-committee meeting on defense spending. He spoke about the crash in the meeting, saying it puts their work in perspective.
“The Navy has informed us just recently that, in the last hour or two, that the F/A-18 Super Hornet that took off on the Teddy Roosevelt, which is deployed from Norfolk into the Fifth AOR to support Operation Inherent Resolve, crashed today after takeoff,” Kaine said.
“The pilots, as we understand, were both rescued alive, and the cause of the crash is unknown. But you wouldn’t necessarily know it from the discussion here on the floor that there’s a war going on and people are risking their lives every day. And we pray that the news about both these pilots being safe is, in fact, accurate,” Kaine said.
Officials say the crash was not a result of hostile activity. The crash remains under investigation.