The US Navy has identified Lt. Nathan Poloski, a 26 year old native of Lake Arrowhead, Calif., as the pilot who was declared presumed deceased, Sept. 15.
Poloski was declared presumed deceased following an apparent collision between the F/A-18C Hornet he was flying and another Hornet aircraft during routine flight operations.
A 2009 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Poloski reported to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 94, based in Lemoore, Calif., in April, 2014.
“Nathan was an outstanding person, naval officer and aviator,” said Cmdr. Michael Langbehn, commanding officer of VFA 94. “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.