November 22, 2017

Airman killed in T-38 crash

One pilot is dead, and one was transferred to Val Verde Regional Medical Center when an Air Force T-38 Talon assigned to Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, crashed at around 4 p.m., Nov. 20 approximately 14 miles northwest of the base near Spur 454 and U.S. 90 in Del Rio, Texas.

Laughlin and local emergency responders responded.

The names of the pilots are being withheld for next of kin notification.

A board of officers will convene to investigate the incident.

“Our biggest priority at this time is caring for the family and friends of our Airmen,” said Col. Michelle Pryor, 47th Flying Training Wing vice commander. “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.”

As a result of the crash, Laughlin Air Force Base suspended flying operations through the Thanksgiving weekend.

“Our community has suffered the irreplaceable loss of one of our pilots,” said Col. Charlie Velino, 47th Flying Training Wing commander. “The immediate concern is to provide support and love to his family, friends and colleagues. Our Airmen and their families are incredibly important to us, and our top priority. For now, we will focus inward to make sure that our base community rallies around those who are suffering and need our support.”

“During this Thanksgiving season, there is value in remembering the debt that we all owe to the brave men and women who serve in the military,” said Velino. “The pilots who train at this base are truly the tip of the spear in securing our national defense, and we are grateful for their choice to serve in that pivotal capacity.”

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