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STATEMENT OF BRIG. GEN. BRADLEY S. JAMES, COMMANDING GENERAL, 4TH MARINE AIRCRAFT WING, REGARDING KC-130T MISHAP

July 12, 2017

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New Orleans -- style="margin: 0in 0in 8pt;">Two days ago, July 10, 2017, the U.S. Marine Corps lost a KC-130T from Marine Air Refueler Transport Squadron 452 based at Stewart Air National Guard Base, Newburgh, NY.

VMGR-452 is within the command structure of Marine Aircraft Group 49 and the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, which I have the pleasure of commanding. The mission of “Yanky 72” was that of airlift of a team from Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command- specifically the 2nd Raider Battalion based at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Route of flight was planned form Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina to Naval Air Facility El Centro, California and then Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona (by ground transport).

At approximately 1600, that’s 4 o’clock, CDT, air traffic control lost radar contact. Shortly thereafter, large plumes of smoke were discovered in the Itta Bena, Mississippi. Area. More specifically, two large impact areas are one half mile north of Hwy 82 and the other is one half mile south of Hwy 82.

Indications are something went wrong at cruise altitude. There is a large debris pattern.

On board were 16 great Americans representing the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy. Nine Marines belonged VMGR-452 in Newburgh, New York, six Marines with 2d Raider Bn. in Camp Lejeune, and one U.S. Navy corpsman with 2d Raider Bn.

Family members have been notified. Out of respect for the families, we will not release the names or specifics as of now, expect the roster of names within the next few days.

The members involved in response to the Yanky 72 is extensive in agencies and skillsets. We are working through the process in a four phased approach.

  1. Recovery of the remains and effects and notification of next of kin

  2. Preservation of our impact sites and equipment

  3. Investigation

  4. Clean up and restoration of impact sites

This tragic mishap has brought together many wonderful people from federal, state and local agencies. I want to identify those agencies. There are many, in no particular order-

  • MS Wildlife and Fisheries

  • MS Bureau of Investigation

  • MS Emergency Management Agency

  • MS Highway Patrol

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation

  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

  • U.S. Army Explosive Ordinance Disposal

  • U.S. Airforce Explosive Ordinance Disposal

  • MS Office of Homeland Security

  • Sheriff offices from Leflore and Sunflower counties

  • The Leflore County Fire Department

  • Leflore Coroners Department

  • Leflore Emergency Management Agency

  • Salvation Army

  • MS Valley State University

  • MS State Examiners Office

  • U.S. Armed Forces Medical Examiners Team

  • U.S. Air Force Safety Team Columbus Air Force Base

  • Desoto County Sheriff Department

  • Delta K-9

  • and U.S. Marines from 4th MAW and 2d Raider Bn.

I also want to thank the rock solid people of the local area that have assisted us in anything they can. You make the state of Mississippi great.

I want to now pass the state to Marshall Fisher, Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety.

 

-USMC-



Marine Corps Forces Reserves 2ndLt Stephanie Leguizamon
2000 Opelousas Avenue, New Orleans, LA. 70114

Phone: 504-697-8308
stephanie.leguizamon@usmc.mil
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