Two airmen from the Royal Saudi Air Force were plucked from the Gulf of Aden after their Boeing F-15SA went down in international waters. It appears that the crew was participating in ongoing airstrikes being carried out by a number of Arab states in against Houthi rebel positions in Yemen. At this point, Saudi officials are not releasing how the Eagle went down, but they are fairly confident it was not enemy fire. An investigation has been launched to determine the cause of the crash.
The call for assistance came in on Thursday afternoon and was handled on a tactical level. The rescue planners contacted the destroyer, USS Sterett, to begin searching for the airmen. Upon locating the airmen a U.S. Air Force HH-60 Pave Hawk, currently deployed to Djibouti, was dispatched to retrieve them.
The amphibious transport dock, USS New York, was also involved in the operation. The call from Saudi officials to Washington came in Thursday afternoon, and by 5:20 EST, the crew were safely in allied hands.
We are thankful this rescue op ended well and will provide more info as it becomes available.