Story highlights

The plane suffers mechanical failure, and the pilots eject

U.S. Navy ship searches for them, and a helicopter picks them up

CNN  — 

The U.S. Navy rescued two Saudi Arabia air force pilots from the Gulf of Aden, a U.S. military official said Friday.

The pilots had ejected from their F-15 aircraft after it suffered mechanical failure, Saudi officials told U.S. sources. The two were not seriously injured.

The USS Sterett, a guided-missile destroyer, coordinated the search, while the USS New York looked for the men. A rescue helicopter flew from Djibouti to retrieve them on Thursday.

Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition military operation to quell a rebellion by Houthi militias in Yemen. The United States supports the operation, but is not participating in it.

Three U.S. Navy ships are standing by in the Gulf of Aden for future recovery operations. U.S. manned aircraft are not permitted to fly in Yemen airspace under the current rules of engagement.