Eastern Europe News

Update On U.S. Air National Guard Pilot Killed In Ukrainian Fighter Jet Crash

Image by Boevaya mashina
Su-27UB 67blue cockpit IRST

The American Air Force pilot who was killed in the crash of a Ukrainian Air Force fighter jet was a member of the 144th Fighter Wing based out of Fresno, Calif. Authorities have withheld the name of the officer awaiting notification of next of kin. The pilot was flying in the back seat of a Ukrainian Su-27UB as part of the NATO exercise Clear Sky 2018 — Ukraine’s largest training exercise in history, reported UPI. The aircraft crashed near the western Ukrainian city of Khmelnytskyi.

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“This is a sad day for the United States and Ukraine,” said Maj. Gen. Clay Garrison, California ANG commander and Clear Sky exercise director. “Our deepest condolences go out to the family, friends and fellow Airmen of both the U.S. Airman and Ukrainian aviator who were killed in the incident,” added UPI.

Some 700 troops are taking part, half of them from NATO member countries including the United States, Britain, the Netherlands, Poland and Romania. The aim is “to enhance regional capabilities to secure air sovereignty and promote peace and security through cooperation,” a US Air Force statement said as the drills kicked off last week, reported AFP.

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