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U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC)

Navy Recovers E-2D Hawkeye that crashed near Wallops Island, Virginia

by Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic Public Affairs
13 April 2022

The Navy successfully recovered the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye that crashed in the vicinity of Wallops Island and Chincoteague Apr. 12.  


U.S. Navy Divers from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2 (MDSU 2) recovered the aircraft with collaboration from other interagency partners, as well local and federal actors. MDSU 2 specializes in salvage, a Navy mission area that includes recovery of submerged objects.  


“As Navy Divers, we stand ready to conduct diving and salvage operations in any environment,” said Cmdr. Steve Cobos, commanding officer of Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2. “We are grateful we could use our salvage expertise to help clear the site and safely recover the aircraft for the community and the surrounding environment.” 


Safety of personnel and preservation of the environment and surrounding wildlife were top priorities in salvage efforts, and the Navy consulted with various local, state, and federal entities to ensure salvage efforts were safe for personnel, the environment, and the community. 


Navy Divers recovered the E-2D by cutting the aircraft into sections and preparing each section to be lifted with a sling. A crane lifted each section out of the water, and barges transported the aircraft pieces offsite. MDSU 2 also surveyed the site and surrounding area to identify and recover aircraft debris. 


The E-2D aircraft, attached to Airborne Command and Control Squadron (VAW) 120, crashed March 30. The mishap, which left one service member dead and two injured remains under investigation. 


“We really appreciate the support from MDSU 2 and from the numerous local and state officials who assisted with recovery operations,” said Cmdr. Martin Fentress Jr., commanding officer of VAW-120.   


MDSU 2 is the Navy’s premier East Coast diving and salvage unit, capable of providing skilled, capable, and combat-ready deployable forces around the globe to support a range of operations. MDSU 2 is headquartered out of Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek- Fort Story in Virginia Beach, Va., under Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 2 (EODGRU2). For more news from EODGRU2, visit 


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