WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Earlier on Wednesday, a search-and-rescue operation begun for a US Marine pilot who ejected from his F/A-18 aircraft off the coast of Japan during a training mission.
"I looked at the numbers over the last few years. It is higher than it was, but it is not completely statistically off the wall," Neller told reporters when asked whether the increased number of crashes indicates a crisis.
Neller said the Marine Corps had not had an indication of what exactly occurred and led to the crash.
He added that such incidents are a cause of concern and the Marine Corps has a plan in place to update its aircraft and make sure the aircrews get sufficient flying experience.
In April, US defense officials said only 87 of the Marine Corps' 276 F/A-18 Hornets were flyable, according to media reports.