Debris from a US Marine Corps F-35 fighter jet has finally been located after the pilot ejected and the aircraft's whereabouts was initially unknown.
The pilot of the F-35B Lightning II managed to safely abandon the aircraft following an undisclosed "mishap" over South Carolina, but it took a mammoth effort involving military and civilian search teams to locate the downed aircraft.
Personnel from US Air Force-run Joint Base Charleston and Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, in close coordination with local authorities, eventually located what they called a "debris field" in Williamsburg County.
Joint Air Base Charleston posted on its X and Facebook social media platforms to explain the huge scale of the search operation.
It said: "Teams from Joint Base Charleston, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing out of MCAS Cherry Point, Navy Region Southeast, the FAA, the Civil Air Patrol, as well as local, county and state law enforcement across South Carolina have been working together to locate the US Marine Corps F-35B.
"Members of the community should avoid the area as the recovery team secures the debris field.
"JB Charleston is transferring incident command to the USMC ... as they begin the recovery process.
"The mishap is currently under investigation, and we are unable to provide additional details to preserve the integrity of the investigative process."