An F-22 assigned to the 3rd Wing at JB Elmendorf, Alaska, crashed Tuesday evening roughly 100 miles north of Anchorage during a nighttime training mission, according to Elmendorf officials. As of late Wednesday US East Coast time, rescuers said they had found the apparent aircraft wreckage, but were still looking for the missing pilot, whose identify the Air Force had not released. The mishap aircraft, “Rocky 3,” was part of a two-ship flight, along with “Rocky 1.” After they had finished their training, “Rocky 3 fell off the radar scope and the pilot lost communications,” Col. Jack McMullen, 3rd Wing commander, told reporters Wednesday. “The other pilot [Rocky 1] went to a tanker, got gas, and then continued to look for the mishap pilot,” he explained. After Rocky 1 could not find him, rescue aircraft scrambled to start the search. Stay tuned for updates on Thursday as more information becomes available. (Elmendorf report by Luke Waack) (See also Wednesday’s Daily Report updates: Apparent Aircraft Wreckage Found and Search Underway for Missing Pilot.)
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.