The Navy has salvaged the F/A-18E Super Hornet jet that blew off the deck of the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman and into the Mediterranean Sea in July.
The aircraft, which went overboard due to strong winds and rains during the carrier’s at-sea replenishment July 8, was pulled from a depth of roughly 9,500 feet, then hoisted onto the multi-purpose construction vessel Everest on Aug. 3.
Sailors from the Truman, the Navy’s Task Force 68, Naval Sea Systems Command’s Supervisor of Salvage and Diving, Naval Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic, and the U.S. 6th Fleet used a CURV-21 — a 6,400-pound, remotely operated deep ocean salvage vehicle — to retrieve the F/A-18.
“Our task tailored team operated safely and efficiently to meet the timeline,” said Lt. Miguel Lewis, U.S. 6th Fleet salvage officer, in a Navy news release. “The search and recovery took less than 24 hours, a true testament to the team’s dedication and capability.”
The aircraft is headed to a “nearby military installation” and is slated to return to the U.S. The incident, which is under investigation, only resulted in minor injuries for one sailor, according to the Navy.
The Truman deployed to Europe from Norfolk, Virginia, in December. The carrier’s strike group includes guided-missile destroyers Bainbridge, Cole, Gravely and Jason Dunham, and the guided-missile cruiser San Jacinto.
The French Navy frigate FS Languedoc and the Italian Navy frigate ITS Alpino also integrated with the carrier strike group in July to conduct surface, sub-surface and air defense training exercises together.
The Truman’s fighter jet isn’t the only one salvaged from the briny depths this year. The service in March recovered an F-35C Lightning II from the South China Sea after a landing mishap on the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson.