The Marine Corps is investigating the disappearance of a helicopter part used to power various ejection and safety systems that also contains a small amount of explosive material.
A Thursday inspection of an AH-1Z Viper helicopter belonging to the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing determined that a charge activated device had gone missing near Okinawa, Japan, after a post-flight inspection of the aircraft, the unit said in a statement to Marine Corps Times.
Not even an inch-and-a-half wide or tall, the part contains approximately 0.16 ounces of TNT, an explosive chemical compound, according to the statement.
“1st MAW takes all aviation related events seriously and is conducting a thorough assessment of the incident,” the statement reads.
Stars and Stripes first reported news of the missing part.
The 1st Marine Aircraft Wing is part of III Marine Expeditionary Force and is headquartered at Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan.
The helicopter had flown near southern Okinawa, Japan, mostly over water. The air crew didn’t see the charge activated device get separated from the helicopter, according to the statement.
No damage or injuries were reported, the statement noted.
There is no risk of the device detonating, and, if found, the device should be reported to the Okinawa Defense Bureau, the organization’s website said.
Irene Loewenson is a staff reporter for Marine Corps Times. She joined Military Times as an editorial fellow in August 2022. She is a graduate of Williams College, where she was the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper.