MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR–A 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing pilot who died Wednesday when his F/A-18C Hornet crashed in the vicinity of Royal Air Force Lakenheath in England was identified Thursday.
Maj. Taj Sareen was a pilot in Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 232 stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. Sareen was deployed as part of Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command 15.2 and was returning with his squadron after their six-month deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and fellow Marines of Maj. Sareen, and we are currently providing support to those affected by this tragic incident,” said Maj. Gen. Michael A. Rocco, commanding general of 3rd MAW.
Sareen, 34, a native of Hillsborough, Calif., commissioned in the Marine Corps Feb. 13, 2005. He previously deployed with VMFA-232 to Afghanistan in 2010 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and was an instructor at Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron (VMFAT) 101.
His personal awards include two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals and one Air Medal – Strike/Flight “5.”
The cause of crash is under investigation.