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Two U.S. Navy pilots rescued after F-18 Hornet crashes in Persian Gulf

The aviators were part of a squadron assigned to the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which last month was deployed to the Arabian Sea amid heavy fighting in Yemen.

By Fred Lambert
Two U.S. Navy pilots rescued after F-18 Hornet crashes in Persian Gulf
An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 22 launches from the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). On May 12, 2015, officials said two aviators were rescued from the Persian Gulf after their F/A-18F Super Hornet crashed following take-off from the USS Theodore Roosevelt. Photo by James R. Evans/U.S. Navy | License Photo

MANAMA, Bahrain, May 12 (UPI) -- Two U.S. Navy pilots were rescued after their F/A-18F Super Hornet crashed into the Persian Gulf on Tuesday, officials say.

The aviators, members of Strike Fighter Squadron 211, ejected after taking off from the deck of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which was sent to the Arabian Sea last month amid tensions and heavy fighting in Yemen.

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The aircraft carrier has been assigned to the U.S. 5th Fleet out of Bahrain for an eight-month deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the name given to the international coalition bombing campaign against Islamic State forces in Iraq and Syria.

Search and rescue teams quickly located and saved the pilots, the 5th Fleet says, adding they were "conscious and alert, and without serious injury."

The details behind the crash -- including whether it was caused by pilot error or aircraft malfunction -- are under investigation.

"We're grateful for the quick work of the search and rescue pilots, and we're grateful that they're on the ship and undergoing medical care, and appear to be doing well," Cmdr. Kevin Stephens told Navy Times.

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