Navy identifies missing Hornet pilot
WESTERN PACIFIC OCEAN, Sept. 14, 2014 – The Navy today announced it has identified Lt. Nathan Poloski as the missing F/A-18C Hornet aviator and declared him presumed deceased.
Poloski, 26, hailed from Lake Arrowhead, California.
On Sept. 12, Poloski was involved in an apparent collision between the F/A-18C Hornet he was flying and another Hornet aircraft during routine flight operations in the western Pacific Ocean. The other pilot involved in the incident was rapidly located and received medical attention.
After an extensive search, the Navy yesterday ended search-and-rescue efforts for Poloski.
A 2009 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Poloski reported to Strike Fighter Squadron 94, based in Lemoore, California, in April, 2014.
"Nathan was an outstanding person, naval officer and aviator," said Navy Cmdr. Michael Langbehn, the commanding officer of Poloski’s squadron. "My personal thoughts and prayers are for his family, friends and shipmates as they endure this immeasurable loss."
Following the apparent collision the Navy conducted an extensive search for Poloski, covering more than 3,000 square miles using the USS Carl Vinson, guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill, guided-missile destroyers USS Gridley, USS Sterett, USS Dewey, helicopters assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 15 and Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 73, P-8 Poseidon aircraft from Guam, and satellite imagery.
The search was unable to locate or recover any remains of the missing aviator.
Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 94, Carrier Air Wing 17, and USS Carl Vinson will hold a memorial service on board USS Carl Vinson to honor the life and service of Lt. Poloski at a date and time to be determined.
The cause of the incident remains under investigation.