Navy Identifies 3 Sailors Presumed Dead Following C-2A Crash in Philippine Sea

The Navy has identified the three sailors who are presumed dead following a Wednesday C-2A Greyhound crash 500 miles off the coast of Okinawa, Japan.

  • Lt. Steven Combs, a native of Florida, was assigned to the “Providers” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30 and embarked aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) as part of Carrier Air Wing Five. His previous duty assignments include the “Greyhawks” of CarrierAirborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 120, the Center for Security Forces Detachment Kittery Point, in Portsmouth, N.H., and Training Wing 4, in Corpus Christi, Texas. His awards include the National Defense Ribbon and the Navy Battle “E” Ribbon.

Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equpiment) Airman Matthew Chialastri a native of Louisiana, was assigned to Ronald Reagan. His previous duty stations include USS America (LHA-6), Patrol Squadron Thirty (VP-30), the “Pro’s Nest,” in Jacksonville, Fla., and the Center for Security Forces Detachment Kittery Point, in Portsmouth, N.H. His awards include the National Defense Ribbon.

  • Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Apprentice Bryan Grosso, a native of Florida was assigned to Ronald Reagan. His previous duty stations include the Naval Air Technical Training Center in Pensacola, Fla., and the Naval Recruit Training Center in Great Lakes, Ill. His awards include the National Defense Ribbon.

Eight sailors aboard the C-2A were rescued and flown to Reagan following the crash.

“The thoughts and prayers of the entire team aboard Ronald Reagan go out to the families and friends of our fallen shipmates,” said Capt. Michael Wosje, Commander, Carrier Air Wing Five (CVW 5) said in a statement.
“We are thankful for our professional search and rescue teams and their incredible bravery. The entire Navy team is working together to investigate the cause of this mishap and we will remain focused on our mission to operate forward in a safe and professional manner to ensure peace and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.”

Reagan led the search, which included ships and aircraft from U.S. and Japanese forces. The search covered almost 1000 square nautical miles.

The Navy is investigating the cause of the crash.

A detachment of C-2s, some of the oldest planes in the Navy, accompany carrier strike groups as they travel throughout a deployment. They follow the strike group as it moves and ferry mail and passengers too and from the carrier at distances out of the range of a strike group’s helicopters.

The more than 50-year-old Greyhound design is set to be replaced by a variant of the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft in the early 2020s.

The following is the complete Nov. 25, 2017 statement from U.S. 7th Fleet.

PHILIPPINE SEA – After notifying their families that extensive search and rescue efforts had ended, the Navy identified Lt. Steven Combs, Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) Airman Matthew Chialastri and Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Apprentice Bryan Grosso Nov. 25 as the three Sailors lost in a C-2A Greyhound crash on Wednesday.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these Sailors,” said Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer, commander of U.S. Seventh Fleet. “Their service and sacrifice will be lasting in Seventh Fleet and we will continue to stand the watch for them, as they did bravely for all of us.”

USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) led combined search and rescue efforts with units from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). Over the course of two days of continuous search efforts for the Sailors, ships and aircraft covered nearly 1000 square nautical miles.

“The thoughts and prayers of the entire team onboard Ronald Reagan go out to the families and friends of our fallen shipmates,” said Capt. Michael Wosje, Commander, Carrier Air Wing Five (CVW 5). “We are thankful for our professional search and rescue teams and their incredible bravery. The entire Navy team is working together to investigate the cause of this mishap and we will remain focused on our mission to operate forward in a safe and professional manner to ensure peace and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.”

Combs, a native of Florida, was assigned to the “Providers” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30 and embarked aboard Ronald Reagan as part of Carrier Air Wing Five. His previous duty assignments include the “Greyhawks” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 120, the Center for Security Forces Detachment Kittery Point, in Portsmouth, N.H., and Training Wing 4, in Corpus Christi, Texas. His awards include the National Defense Ribbon and the Navy Battle “E” Ribbon.

Chialastri, a native of Louisiana, was assigned to Ronald Reagan. His previous duty stations include USS America (LHA 6), Patrol Squadron Thirty (VP-30), the “Pro’s Nest,” in Jacksonville, Fla., and the Center for Security Forces Detachment Kittery Point, in Portsmouth, N.H. His awards include the National Defense Ribbon.

Grosso, a native of Florida was assigned to Ronald Reagan. His previous duty stations include the Naval Air Technical Training Center in Pensacola, Fla., and the Naval Recruit Training Center in Great Lakes, Ill. His awards include the National Defense Ribbon.

The C-2A Greyhound, assigned to VRC 30, crashed en route to Ronald Reagan Nov. 22 while operating in the Philippine Sea. The aircraft was carrying 11 crew and passengers at the time. Eight personnel were recovered on scene after the crash by U.S. Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC 12).

An investigation is in progress.

 

Source: USNI News