An F-16 assigned to the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke AFB, Ariz., crashed around 8:45 a.m. Thursday morning near Bagdad, Ariz., about 100 miles north of the base. Local officials located the crash site late Thursday afternoon and officials are working to access and secure the site, according to an updated Luke release. The pilot’s status is unknown due to the remote location and rugged terrain, according to a Luke statement. Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, commander of the 56th FW, has convened an interim safety board to investigate the crash. The 56th Fighter Wing at Luke is responsible for pilot training on both the F-16 and F-35.
Americans’ trust and confidence in the U.S. military has declined precipitously in recent months, according to the results of a survey. Experts lay the blame on increasing political polarization and the fallout from this summer’s turbulent withdrawal from Afghanistan.