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Posted: November 21, 2017

Air Force pilot killed, 1 injured in crash near Texas’ Laughlin Air Force Base

Lt. Col. Thomas Allen, 87th Flying Training Squadron commander, lands a T-38C Talon after a formation flight at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 18, 2017. The T-38 is the training aircraft used to teach student pilots the basics of flying. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Benjamin N. Valmoja)
Airman 1st Class Benjamin Valmoj/47th Flying Training Wing Public
Lt. Col. Thomas Allen, 87th Flying Training Squadron commander, lands a T-38C Talon after a formation flight at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 18, 2017. The T-38 is the training aircraft used to teach student pilots the basics of flying. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Benjamin N. Valmoja)

By Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

VAL VERDE COUNTY, Texas —

One pilot died and another was injured Monday when an Air Force T-38 Talon crashed in Del Rio, Texas, according to officials.

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The T-38 crashed around 4 p.m. about 14 miles northwest of Laughlin Air Force Base, where the jet was assigned, base officials said.

Authorities did not immediately identify the pilots, citing the need to notify their families.

According to Air Force officials, “the T-38 is the training aircraft used to teach student pilots the basics of flying.”

>> Related: Veteran laid to rest with military honors thanks to kindness of strangers

The circumstances surrounding the crash were not immediately clear. Base officials said a board of officers will investigate the crash.

“Our biggest priority at this time is caring for the family and friends of our Airmen,” Col. Michelle Pryor, 47th Flying Training Wing vice commander, said in a news release. “We are a close-knit family, and when a tragedy like this occurs every member of the U.S. Armed Forces feels it. Our people take top priority, and we are committed to ensuring their safety and security."


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Military training jet crashes in Tennessee

Brandon Wade/Getty Images for NASCAR

Military training jet crashes in Tennessee

A military training plane crashed Sunday in the Cherokee National Forest near Tellico Plains, Tennessee.

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Two pilots, an instructor and student, were aboard a T-45C Goshawk training in the area and had not returned to the Naval Air Station in Meridian, Mississippi, according to the U.S. Navy.

Their status is unknown.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Navy recovers remains of 10 sailors killed in USS John S. McCain crash

Update 9:30 p.m. EDT Aug. 27: The U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet said on Sunday that officials have recovered the bodies of all 10 sailors killed when the USS John S. McCain collided with a merchant ship on Aug. 21 near Singapore.

Officials continue to investigate the collision.

Original report: The U.S. Navy on Thursday identified a sailor whose remains were found after the USS John S. McCain collided with a merchant ship near Singapore earlier this week.

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Divers recovered the remains of Electronics Technician 3rd Class Kenneth Aaron Smith, 22, officials said.

Nine other sailors remain missing. Navy officials identified them as:

  • Electronics Technician 1st Class Charles Nathan Findley, 31, from Missouri
  • Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Abraham Lopez, 39, from Texas
  • Electronics Technician 2nd Class Kevin Sayer Bushell, 26, from Maryland
  • Electronics Technician 2nd Class Jacob Daniel Drake, 21, from Ohio
  • Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Timothy Thomas Eckels Jr., 23, from Maryland
  • Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Corey George Ingram, 28, from New York
  • Electronics Technician 3rd Class Dustin Louis Doyon, 26, from Connecticut
  • Electronics Technician 3rd Class John Henry Hoagland III, 20, from Texas
  • Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Logan Stephen Palmer, 23, from Illinois 

Crews searched a 2,100-square mile area east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore after the Liberian-flagged Alnic MC and the USS John S. McCain collided on Monday. Five sailors were injured.

>> Related: 10 sailors missing after USS John S. McCain collides with tanker

Divers continued Thursday to search the flooded compartments of the USS John S. McCain, although officials said the efforts had shifted from a rescue to a recovery mission.

Monday’s crash was the second major collision involving a U.S. Navy warship from the 7th Fleet in two months, according to The Navy Times. It is the fourth accident involving a naval vessel in the Pacific this year, according to The Washington Post.

Monday’s accident prompted officials to launch an investigation of the 7th Fleet. Navy Adm. John Richardson, chief of naval operations, said the Navy will take a one-day operational pause in response to the accident, to “ensure we are taking all appropriate immediate measures to enhance the Navy’s safe and effective operation around the world.”

>> Related: Navy plans operation pause, calls for review of collisions in the Pacific

The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that the commander of the 7th Fleet was dismissed in the aftermath of the crash.

  USS John S. McCain collision: Commander of Navy's 7th Fleet dismissed
  USS John S. McCain collision: Remains found during search for missing sailors
Navy plans operation pause, calls for review of collisions in the Pacific

Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Fulton/AP

Navy plans operation pause, calls for review of collisions in the Pacific

The U.S. Navy will take a one-day operational pause in the coming weeks to “ensure we are taking all appropriate immediate measure to enhance the Navy’s safe and effective operation around the world,” Navy Adm. John Richardson, who is chief of naval operations, said on Monday.

The pause was announced on the same day officials said they were launching a broad investigation into the Pacific fleet in light of recent accidents, including Monday morning’s collision between the USS John S. McCain and a merchant ship in the waters of Southeast Asia.

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Ten sailors remained missing Monday, hours after the USS John S. McCain, a guided missile destroyer, and the 600-foot Alnic MC collided off the coast of Singapore, Navy officials said. Five other sailors were injured.

A search for the missing sailors was ongoing Monday.

"This is the second major collision in the last three months, and is the latest in a series of major incidents, particularly in the Pacific theater,” Richardson said in a video statement released Monday. “This trend demands more forceful action.”

The USS John S. McCain, named for Republican Sen. John McCain’s father and grandfather, who were both Navy admirals, was pulled on Monday evening to Changi Naval Base in Singapore. The crash left the ship with significant hull damage, allowing water to flood into nearby compartments, naval officials said.

“I don't want to speculate how the incident happened, but this area -- it's a busy area, considering the two vessels are about to enter the traffic separation scheme,” said Adm. Datuk Zulkifili Abu Bakarthe, head of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, according to The Navy Times.

The newspaper reported that about 80,000 vessels travel the strait each year.

>> Related: 10 sailors missing after USS John S. McCain collides with tanker

A defense official told The Associated Press earlier Monday that Richardson directed Adm. Phil Davidson, head of the Navy’s Fleet Forces, to lead the investigation.

The unnamed official told the AP that “Richardson wants to ensure there aren’t bigger problems that may be masked by the high pace of ship operations in the Pacific region.”

Richardson said the investigation would include “trends in operational tempo, performance, maintenance, equipment and personnel,” along with “surface warfare training and career development, including tactical and navigational proficiency.”

Monday’s crash was the second major collision involving a U.S. Navy warship from the 7th Fleet in two months, according to The Navy Times. It is the fourth accident involving a naval vessel in the Pacific this year, according to The Washington Post.

Seven sailors died and three others were injured on June 17 when a merchant vessel and the USS Fitzgerald collided in the Philippine Sea, about 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan. Officials determined that the collision was avoidable and dismissed the ship’s commanding officer, executive officer and command master chief after the crash.

Army helicopter carrying 5 reported down; Coast Guard, Army responding

U.S. Coast Guard and Army officials were responding Wednesday morning to reports of a downed Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter off the coast of Hawaii.

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The helicopter had five crew on board when it reportedly went down, Coast Guard officials said. Officials spotted a debris field just before 11:30 p.m. local time Tuesday near Oahu’s Keana Point.

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