2 Killed In 'Aircraft Mishap' At Vance AFB, Air Force Officials Say
Two airmen have been killed after an "aircraft mishap" at Vance Air Force Base near Enid, according to the base.
The incident happened about 9:10 a.m. Thursday and it is an active scene, officials said.
Air Force officials said two Air Force T-38 Talons were involved in a mishap, and the aircraft were performing a routine training mission at the time of the accident.
There were two people aboard each aircraft, Air Force officials reported.
The names of the two deceased will be withheld pending next of kin notifications, Air Force officials said.
A safety investigation team is looking into the incident.
"We are saddened by the tragic news of the loss of life of two pilots at Vance Air Force Base this morning. My thoughts and prayers are with the pilots’ families and the team at Vance," Gov. Kevin Stitt said in a statement. "Today serves as a reminder that our nation’s military make great sacrifices and put their lives on the line everyday to protect our nation. I spoke with the Wing Commander at Vance AFB to communicate the state will offer support in any possible way during this time."
Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement after news of the crash was reported.
“I am deeply saddened by the devastating news of the training-related incident at Vance Air Force Base that resulted in the deaths of two airmen. My prayers are with the Vance community and the families and friends of those killed.
“Over the last decade, more active-duty service members died as a result of training-related incidents than in combat operations. In last year’s defense authorization bill, Congress acknowledged this crisis — increasing funding for training and flight time, investing in repairing and modernizing our fleet of aircraft, and implementing other policies to improve safety. 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.
“Military aviation is inherently dangerous, and our pilots and pilot trainees rely on training to ensure they can do their mission. That’s why it’s so important that Congress ensure training and readiness programs are well-funded. This is the least we can do to make sure our airmen can safely meet current and future threats and to prevent incidents like what happened at Vance today from happening again.”
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