Tuesday, November 28, 2006
F-16 On Close Air Support Mission Goes Down Near Baghdad
"11/28/2006 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- The interim safety investigation board convened by U.S. Central Command Air Forces has begun its efforts to gather evidence to determine what caused a U.S. Air Force F-16CG Fighting Falcon to crash approximately 20 miles northwest of Baghdad at about 1:35 p.m. Nov. 27.
The single-seat jet was in direct support of extensive coalition ground combat operations when it crashed in an uninhabited field.
Coalition reconnaissance assets and fighter aircraft were overhead when the crash occurred and confirmed that insurgents were in the vicinity of the crash site immediately following the crash.
Ground forces secured the crash scene Nov. 27 as soon as the combat operations in the area ceased. The primary concerns of USCENTAF in responding to this incident have been the safety of coalition forces and the recovery of the pilot.
The pilot was not found at the crash site and his status cannot be confirmed at this time. The investigation board has collected DNA samples from the crash site and will release results upon completion of testing.
The F-16 was deployed to the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing at Balad Air Base, Iraq. The accident investigation convening authority is Air Combat Command.
(Courtesy of U.S. Central Command Air Forces Public Affairs)"
Of course my thoughts and prayers are with the Pilot and his family, friends, and fellow Airmen who served with him. Nothing could be harder for the young Airmen who maintained that F-16 daily when they hear that their bird, and most likely the pilot they supported, never came home.
There are Army and Marine deaths almost daily in Iraq, and the loss of an Air Force Pilot is no different. Whenever a US Servicemember dies in combat we're all going to mourn the loss of a brother, a sister, a son, a daughter, a friend.
Keep all of our young men and women in your prayers. Whether they're driving convoy, jumping out of Strykers, medivac-ing the wounded out of harms way, storming insurgent houses in the dead of night, or flying overhead to support and fight for the troops below, they're doing it for you and me.
posted by El Capitan at 8:47 AM