An A-10 ground-attack aircraft assigned to the 81st Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem AB, Germany, crashed last week in a field outside Laufeld, Germany, a town north of the city of Wittlich. The latter is southwest of Bonn. The pilot, Lt. Col. Scott Hurrelbrink, ejected from the aircraft and sustained minor injuries, but was in good condition in a German hospital in Trier, according to Spangdahlem officials. “[W]e all are extremely grateful that Lt. Col. Hurrelbrink is okay and the aircraft impacted in a field away from Laufeld proper,” said Col. Christopher Weggeman, Spang’s 52nd Fighter Wing commander. Hurrelbrink was returning to base from a local routine training mission at the time of the April 1 mishap. The A-10 was carrying training ammunition, which a USAF explosive ordnance disposal team secured the crash site, the officials said. (Spangdahlem release) (See also our initial coverage.)
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.