Debris reportedly found in South Carolina after F-35 stealth fighter jet disappearance

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A debris field has been located by military officials amid their investigation of the F-35 jet that disappeared in South Carolina on Sunday.

Joint Base Charleston told Fox News Digital that the debris field was found in Williamsburg County, South Carolina. Officials did not confirm that the debris was from the missing aircraft.

A pilot ejected from the aircraft on Sunday afternoon after a “mishap.” The jet was a Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II that belonged to Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort. 

The pilot landed on the ground safely and was treated at a local medical center. 

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F-35 performing at air show

An F-35 Lightning II performs at the 2023 NAF El Centro Air Show at Naval Air Facility El Centro on March 11, 2023 in El Centro, California. (Daniel Knighton/Getty Images)

After announcing the discovery of the debris field on Monday evening, a Joint Base Charleston spokesperson announced that they are transferring command of the incident to the United States Marine Corps.

“Members of the community should avoid the area as the recovery team secures the debris field,” a spokesperson told Fox News Digital.

“The mishap is currently under investigation, and we are unable to provide additional details to preserve the integrity of the investigative process,” the statement added.

Earlier on Monday, the Marine Corps announced that there would be a two-day pause in operations “to discuss aviation safety matters and best practices.”

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F-35 Lightning II fighter jet during airshow

U..S. Air Force flies the F-35 Lightning II fighter jet during a public display at Luke Air Force Base near Phoenix, Arizona on Saturday, March 17, 2018. (Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The branch referenced three Class-A aviation “mishaps” over the past six weeks as the main reason for the stand-down. During the pause, Marines will focus on measures such as proper flight procedures, ground safety, maintenance and combat readiness.

“This stand down [is] being taken to ensure the service is maintaining operational standardization of combat-ready aircraft with well-prepared pilots and crews,” the Marine Corps said in a press release.

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“This pause invests time and energy in reinforcing the Marine aviation community’s established policies, practices and procedures in the interests of public safety, protecting our Marines and sailors, and ensuring the Marine Corps remains a ready and highly-trained fighting force,” the press release added.

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