Two airmen killed in flight 'mishap' at Oklahoma Air Force base

Two airmen killed in flight 'mishap' at Oklahoma Air Force base
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Two airmen were killed in “an aircraft mishap” involving two trainer jets on Thursday morning at Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma, according to a statement from the base.

The two T-38 Talons, each carrying two airmen, “were performing a training mission” when the incident occurred about 9:10 a.m. local time.

The names of those killed will be withheld until after the families are notified, and a safety investigation team will look into the incident.

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“Vance emergency response personnel are on scene to treat casualties and assist in recovery efforts,” the statement adds.

The release did not include details on the two other pilots involved.

Images from local news outlets show one aircraft upside down in the grass along a runway and the other upright on the runway, with emergency vehicles nearby.

The base is primarily used to train hundreds of pilots annually with the 71st Flying Training Wing, which flies the T-1A Jayhawk, the T-6A Texan II and the T-38 Talon.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeSenators take oath for impeachment trial Trump, Democrats set for brawl on Iran war powers Senators see off-ramp from Iran tensions after Trump remarks MORE (R-Okla.) said Thursday he was “deeply saddened” by the incident at Vance Air Force Base.

“Over the last decade, more active-duty service members died as a result of training-related incidents than in combat operations,” Inhofe said in a statement. “While training-related casualties are down this year, even a single instance is too many. We’ve known this is a problem that can’t be solved in a year, and more must be done."

"This year’s defense authorization bill continues to authorize additional funding for more flight hours and takes other steps to address these serious readiness and training issues,” he added.

The Air Force, in the past several years, has suffered a number of deadly, noncombat aircraft incidents and mishaps, including a T-38 crash that killed a pilot in November 2017 in Texas.

Updated at 4:09 p.m.