The U.S. Navy released an official statement about a F/A-18 Super Hornet assigned to the USS Harry S. Truman, an aircraft carrier stationed in the Mediterranean Sea, was lost at sea last week near Naples, Italy, after it was "blown overboard due to unexpected heavy weather."
The incident occurred last Friday while the aircraft carrier was conducting an underway replenishment (UNREP) mission where support vessels were transferring fuel, munitions, and other supplies to the Truman. The Navy noted during UNREP that a major storm produced high winds and torrential rains.
"This is an extremely unusual event," David Titley, a former commander of the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, told WaPo in an email. "U.S. Navy ships and aircraft are designed and built to withstand heavy weather, which they do on a routine basis."
The Navy did not release the location of the incident, but days before, the Defense Department tweeted that a Super Hornet "broke the sound barrier over the Ionian Sea," an area of water near Southern Italy.
Going supersonic.💨— Department of Defense 🇺🇸 (@DeptofDefense) July 6, 2022
A @USNavy F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 211 breaks the sound barrier over the Ionian Sea.
VFA 211 is defending U.S., allied and partner interests while deployed aboard @USSHARRYSTRUMAN in the @USNavyEurope area of operations. pic.twitter.com/aw2vcDn5H3
Questions remain how a $65 million fighter jet, weighing more than 32,000 pounds, was dislodged from the flight deck and swept into the sea.