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Cleanup efforts continue; board members arrive Friday

Jan. 29, 2003

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea - Cleanup efforts continue at the U-2 aircraft crash site near Hwa Song city, south of Seoul, until the incoming safety investigation board president makes a determination to end operations.

"The incoming board president will make the determination of when the recovery efforts will be suspended," said Col. PK White, 51st Operations Group commander and interim board president. "However, we've suspended search efforts for the pilot's ejection seat. U.S. and Republic of Korea personnel have performed numerous foot patrols and we've sent two helicopter searches to locate the seat. Now we're relying on the Hwa Song City mayor and the local community residents to provide us information on its whereabouts."

The safety team of Air Force officers and contractors, headed by Col. John McLean, Eighth Air Force chief of safety from Barksdale AFB, La., arrives in country Friday. The interim safety board, comprised of members of the 51st Fighter Wing, will transfer operations to the incoming members Saturday, said White.

Eighth Air Force, with headquarters at Barksdale, provides combat-ready information operations, command and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and strike forces to combatant commanders around the world. Eighth Air Force is the 5th Reconnaissance Squadron's parent numbered air force and a component of Air Combat Command. (PACAFNS)

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