(CNN)– A US Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet jet crashed Wednesday east of Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in California, according to the US Navy.
“Search and rescue personnel are on scene and the status of the pilot is currently unknown,” Lt. Cmdr. Lydia Bock, a spokesperson for the Joint Strike Fighter Wing, said in a statement. “The cause of the crash is currently under investigation,” Bock added.
The F/A-18 had been assigned to the ‘Vigilantes’ of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151 based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California.US Naval Air Forces had issued a tweet earlier Wednesday confirming a crash had taken place.
The status of the pilot is unknown and search and rescue efforts are currently underway.
“At approximately 10:00 a.m. PST an F/A-18E crashed near @NAWS_CL. Search-and-rescue efforts are underway,” Naval Air Forces tweeted Wednesday from its verified Twitter account.
A spokesperson for the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, Carma Roper, told CNN that they were helping to secure the area until the military arrived on scene. Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake is located in the Western Mojave Desert region of California and is approximately 125 miles north of Los Angeles.
The F/A-18 strike fighter forms the backbone of the Navy’s jet fleet and the Super Hornet variant became operational in 2001.