Saturday, 17 November, 2018

American pilot killed in Ukrainian Air Force fighter jet crash

U.S. serviceman is killed in Ukraine during NATO drills that included California National Guard unit American pilot killed in Ukrainian Air Force fighter jet crash
Ellis Copeland | 17 October, 2018, 08:16

The exercise is meant to enhance regional security, offering training with the Ukrainians to increase interoperability with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies and other partners in the region, officials have said.

It was not immediately clear if the other pilot aboard the Su-27 was killed or injured.

The status of a US pilot remains unclear after a Ukrainian fighter crashed on Tuesday during joint exercises in western Ukraine.

The General Staff of Ukraine's armed forces said the two-seat Su-27UB went down in the Kmelnitskyi region.

The exercises, called Clear Sky-2018, include members of the California's National Guard's Fresno-based 144th Fighter Wing group, according to a Facebook post.

A Ukrainian Su-27 fighter jet lands during the Clear Sky 2018 multinational military drills at Starokostiantyniv Air Base in Khmelnytskyi Region, Ukraine, on October 12, 2018.

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Pararescue airmen from California's 129th Rescue Wing are also in Vinnytsia for combat search-and-rescue training with their Ukrainian counterparts.

According to the Ukrainian General Staff, the bodies of two pilots were found: one was a pilot of the Ukrainian Air Forces, the second - a US Air Force National Guard pilot.

Ukraine on October 8 began a series of large-scale air force exercises called Clear Sky 2018 with the United States and other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries.

In its own statement, the U.S. Air Force was not immediately able to confirm any casualties.

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.

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