The 24 crew members of a U.S. Navy surveillance plane that made an emergency landing in China over the weekend after a midair collision with a Chinese fighter jet include three women and eight codebreakers, the Navy said today.
The codebreakers, known as cryptology specialists, would be involved in the decoding and analysis of the intelligence being collected by the EP-3 plane.
The four-engine turboprop plane is used for eavesdropping. It collects radio, radar and other transmissions from ships or military posts on land, sweeping up communications and data from the air like a vacuum.
President Bush demanded today that Beijing grant immediate U.S. access to the crew.
The list included 22 crew members from the Navy, one Marine and one from the Air Force.
Most Crew Are Navy
Those from Navy are: Richard Bensing of Brandon, Fla; Steven Blocher of Charlotte, N.C.; Bradford Borland, no hometown listed; David Cecka of Leavenworth, Wash.; John Comerford of Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.; Shawn Coursen of Valdosta, Ga.; and Jeremy Crandall of Poplar Grove, Ill.
Josef Edmunds of Davis, Calif.; Brandon Funk of Showlow, Ariz.; Scott Guidry of Satellite Beach, Fla.; Jason Hanser of Billings, Mont.; Patrick Honeck of La Mesa, Calif.; Regina Kauffman of Warminster, Pa.; Nicholas Mellos of Ypsilanti, Mich.; Ramon Mercado of Moreno Valley, Calif.
Shane Osborn of Norfolk, Neb.; Richard Payne, no hometown listed; Kenneth Richter of Staten Island, N.Y.; Marcia Sonon of Lenharstville, Pa.; Jeffrey Vignery of Goodland, Kan.; Wendy Westbrook of Rock Creek, Ohio and Rodney Young of Katy, Texas.
One Marine, One Air Force Member
The one Marine is listed as Mitchell Pray of Geneseo, Ill. and the Air Force member is listed as Curtis Towne of Haywood, Calif.