The Marine Corps on Monday identified a debris field in eastern South Carolina that is believed to be the F-35 fighter jet that went missing over the weekend, according to a statement from Joint Base Charleston.
The jet was lost after a pilot ejected Sunday afternoon, triggering a search that lasted for more than a day for the roughly $80 million aircraft — and frustration among lawmakers. The debris was found in Williamsburg County, an area between Myrtle Beach and Charleston.
It was not immediately clear from the statement that the debris field definitively belonged to the missing jet, and an investigation from the Marine Corps was still ongoing.
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“Teams from Joint Base Charleston, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing out of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Navy Region Southeast, the FAA, the Civil Air Patrol, as well as local, county, and state law enforcement across South Carolina have been working together to locate the U.S. Marine Corps F-35B,” the statement said.
The missing F-35 jet belonged to Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 of Marine Aircraft Group 31, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. The group, known as MAG-31, is based out of Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.
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