The Air Force has not found the pilot of the F-16 that crashed in Iraq early Monday morning. An official statement did confirm that insurgents were in the vicinity at the time of the crash. Coalition ground forces had to wait for combat operations in the area to stop before they were able to secure the crash site. Various news reports indicate that the aircraft was assigned to Cannon AFB, N.M., but base officials say all Cannon pilots deployed to Southwest Asia are accounted for.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.