Friday, June 03, 2016

Blue Angels, Fort Hood, Thunderbirds mishaps: 'A tough day for military'

By Tara Copp
Stars and Stripes
Published: June 3, 2016

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, in Singapore for a security conference, began a news conference Friday, June 3, 2016, with a statement on the Fort Hood deaths and a Navy Blue Angels training accident Thursday that killed Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss, pictured above.

China’s military buildup in the South China Sea dominated the first day of a key Asian security summit Friday, with U.S. partners trying to strike a balance between challenging the Chinese and working with them in what some see as a new reality in the region.

Obama meets Air Force pilot who ejected before Thunderbirds jet crash

The pilot of a U.S. Air Force Thunderbird that crashed following a flyover met with President Barack Obama shortly after ejecting safely into a Colorado field. News of the crash broke while Obama's motorcade was returning to Peterson Air Force Base on Thursday for his flight back to Washington. The pilot ejected about 15 miles south of the academy.

5 dead, 4 missing after Army truck swept away in Texas flood

Aerial and ground crews searched the 20-mile creek that winds through heavily wooded terrain on the northern fringe of the sprawling Army base. Army aircraft, canine search teams, swift-water rescue watercraft and heavy trucks were being used.

Fort Hood officials were closing roads as truck overturned

Fort Hood commanders were in the process of closing roads on the sprawling Army post in Central Texas when a truck carrying 12 soldiers overturned in a fast-flowing flooded creek during a training exercise, killing five and leaving four missing, officials said Friday.

2 military planes go down in separate incidents

Two military planes went down on Thursday in coincidental unrelated incidents in Colorado and in Tennessee, and the pilot in one incident died, the U.S. Navy confirmed.

SINGAPORE — Investigations into two fatal military training accidents on the same day will focus on how to prevent recurrences, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said Friday.

Five soldiers from Fort Hood died, three were rescued and four remained missing after floodwaters swept away their troop carrier during a training mission Thursday.

All of the soldiers were from the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at the Killeen, Texas, Army base. The soldiers came from a unit that had recently redeployed from South Korea.

The three rescued soldiers were in stable condition and being transported from Coryell Memorial Healthcare System, where they were initially treated, to Fort Hood’s Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center.

The soldiers were driving through a low-water crossing on base during a training mission when a flash flood overturned their Light Medium Tactical Vehicle, according to The Associated Press and information released by Fort Hood. Texas has been pounded by record rains.

Carter, in Singapore for a security conference, began a news conference Friday with a statement on the Fort Hood deaths and a Navy Blue Angels training accident Thursday that killed Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss.

“Thursday was a tough day for the U.S. military,” Carter said. “Our hearts and thoughts are with the families.

“The fact that both of these losses are safety issues in training — we’re going to ensure we learn lessons that we can from the investigations … and we take actions in the future to prevent such accidents and keep our people safe,” Carter said.

In another incident Thursday, an Air Force Thunderbird crashed in Colorado. That pilot ejected safely.

At Fort Hood, aircraft, search-and-rescue dogs, and watercraft continued to search for the missing soldiers, 1st Cavalry Division commander Maj. Gen. John C. Thomson III said in a statement.

“Your thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated during this difficult time,” Thomson said.
Twitter: @TaraCopp


No comments: