“USS Ronald Reagan is conducting search and rescue operations. The cause of the crash is not yet known,” it said in a press release.
Japanese Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera told reporters the US Navy had informed him that the crash in the Philippine Sea may have been a result of engine trouble.
The propeller powered transport plane, a C-2 Greyhound, carries personnel, mail and other cargo from mainland bases to carriers operating at sea.
The aircraft has been in operation for more than five decades and is due to be replaced by the long-range tilt-rotor Osprey aircraft.