Miramar-based fighter jet crashes in England; pilot identified

ENGLAND (KUSI) – 4:10 p.m. – A 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing pilot died when his F/A-18C Hornet crashed in the vicinity of Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, at approximately 2:30 a.m. (PDT), Wednesday.

Maj. Taj Sareen, a pilot in Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 232, stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif. died as a result of the crash. Sareen was deployed as part of Special

Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command 15.2 and was returning with his squadron after their six-month deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and fellow Marines of Maj. Sareen, and we are currently providing support to those affected by this tragic incident,” said Maj. Gen. Michael A.Rocco, commanding general of 3rd MAW.

Sareen, 34, a native of Hillsborough, Calif., commissioned in the Marine Corps Feb. 13, 2005. He previously deployed with VMFA-232 to Afghanistan in 2010 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and was an instructor at Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron (VMFAT) 101.

His personal awards include two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals and one Air Medal – Strike/Flight “5.”
The cause of crash is under investigation.

10/21/2015 – An MCAS Miramar-based F/A-18C Hornet belonging to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing crashed in the vicinity of Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, early Wednesday morning.

Cambridgeshire police have said the pilot died in the crash after it went down in a field of farmland in the town of Ely, Cambridgeshire, though MCAS Miramar has not yet confirmed the death. 

The jet, which was part of the Marine Attack Fighter Squadron 232, had taken off from RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk before it went down in the field, which is located about seven miles away. 

The jet was one of six returning to the United States from a mission in Bahrain. Miramar officials said the five other jets safely diverted to Royal Air Force Base Lossiemouth.

A year ago, a U.S. Air Force F-15 crashed in a field near the air base but the pilot was not seriously hurt.

In January 2014, four U.S. Air Force crew members based out of Lakenheath died when their helicopter hit a flock of geese and crashed.

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