Pentagon officials announced that they recovered the remains of Lt. Col. Charles M. Walling of Phoenix and Maj. Aado Kommendant of Lakewood, N.J. These two airmen had been missing in action since their F-4C Phantom fighter crashed in 1966 during the Vietnam War. Walling was buried with full military honors on June 15 at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. There will be a group burial honoring both airmen on August 8, the 46th anniversary of their crash, according to the Defense Department’s June 14 release. The two airmen’s F-4C went down on a close air support mission over Song Be Province, Vietnam. Search and rescue efforts were unsuccessful in the days following the crash, states the release. Joint US-Vietnamese teams recovered aircraft pieces, human remains, and additional evidence between 1992 and 2010 that led to the identification of Walling and Kommendant, states the release.
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.