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An Airman from the 31st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron marshals an F-16 Fighting Falcon for refueling Dec. 12 at Aviano Air Base, Italy. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Evelyn Chavez)
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 BRIGADIER GENERAL SCOTT J. ZOBRIST
Recovered debris thought to be wreckage of missing aircraft

Posted 1/29/2013   Updated 1/29/2013 Email story   Print story

    


31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

1/29/2013 - AVIANO AIR BASE, ITALY -- Italian search teams have recovered debris in the Adriatic Sea believed to belong to an F-16 Fighting Falcon which went missing during a nighttime training mission Jan. 28.

The fighter jet, assigned to the 31st Fighter Wing, was performing a training mission when the base lost contact with the pilot at approximately 8 p.m. Italian aircraft and ships were quickly dispatched to the missing jet's last known location; 10 to 15 nautical miles east of Cervia, Italy.

U.S. military officials are coordinating search and rescue efforts with Italian military and civilian teams. The effort has not found any sign of the pilot, nevertheless, the search continues.

"We are tremendously grateful for the support and coordination we've received from the Italian people and government," said Brig. Gen Scott J. Zobrist, 31st Fighter Wing commander. "From the initial notification, everyone involved has shown complete dedication to finding our missing Airman."

More information will be released as it becomes available. A board of officers will investigate the incident.



tabComments
1/30/2013 3:03:47 AM ET
Our hearts are with the pilot and his family and friends. If there is any way to help volunteer to help in the search please let us know.
Naika, Aviano
 
1/29/2013 9:44:29 PM ET
We are praying that this pilot and family are blessed with his safe return and that the support and appreciation for these young service men and women is felt by the family and all of those participating in his rescue.
Don, Loxley AL
 
1/29/2013 10:34:41 AM ET
The atmoshphere here today has been solemn. Myself and everyone I know feel shaken and empty. Our hearts are with those suffering. We share your loss and your hope.
Jennifer, Aviano
 
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