News Releases

(WASHINGTON, DC) - Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today expressed relief at the imminent release of the 24 American servicemen and women detained on China's Hainan Island. The crew is based at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station in Washington state.

"Like all Americans, I am relieved to learn of the pending release of the 24 servicemen and women based at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station," Murray said. "I am proud of the courage they have shown throughout this ordeal. I look forward to joining their loved ones and the people of Washington state in welcoming them home."

Senator Murray has been a strong voice for the release of the 24 American servicemen and women since their emergency landing in China on the morning of Sunday, April 1.

Senator Murray sent a letter to the Chinese Ambassador urging the immediate release of the Whidbey Island-based crew. She also spoke by phone with the squadron commander at Whidbey to offer her assistance. Murray met personally with Ambassador Yang in her Washington, D.C. office to discuss her long-scheduled trip to China. During this meeting, she again called for the release of the crew. After much consideration, the Senator canceled her trip to China, which had been scheduled for the week of April 7-16. Senator Murray also cosponsored a bipartisan resolution which was adopted calling for the immediate release of the crew members and signed a letter to the Architect of the Capitol calling for the placement of a yellow ribbon on a column of the Capitol Building showing support for the crew and their families.