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Marines Identify San Diego-Based Pilot Killed In England

Maj. Taj Sareen - then a captain in this 2009 photo - shows Jared Hyams the m...

Photo by U.S. Marine Corps

Above: Maj. Taj Sareen - then a captain in this 2009 photo - shows Jared Hyams the model fighter jets pilots use during briefs. The Make-A-Wish foundation granted Hyams his wish to attend the 2009 Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Air Show.

The Marine Corps says a fighter pilot killed when his F-18 crashed near an airfield in England was a 34-year-old California man.

The military said Thursday that Maj. Taj Sareen was returning with his squadron after their six-month deployment to the Middle East when the F/A-18C Hornet went down near Royal Air Force Lakenheath on Wednesday morning. Authorities say Sareen was ejected from the single-seat aircraft and no other casualties were reported.

"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 Rocco, commanding general of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.

Sareen was a native of Hillsborough. He joined the Marine Corps Feb. 13, 2005, and served in Afghanistan in 2010. He was a member of the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232, stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego.

His personal awards include two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals and an Air Medal Strike/Flight "5."

Authorities are investigating the cause of the crash.

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