A student pilot and his instructor safely ejected from a T-38 that crashed south of Sheppard AFB, Tex., according to base officials. The trainer aircraft went down on July 19 at 6:48 a.m. local time, with military and civilian first responders rushing to the scene, according to a release from the base’s 80th Flying Training Wing. “I want to thank the local community for all its support,” said Col. Lance Bunch, 80th FTW commander. “Because of them, we were able to recover our pilots quickly and make sure they were safe,” he said. The student pilot, German air force 1st Lt. Julius Dressbach, suffered “minor, non-life threatening injuries” and was being treated at a local hospital, states the release, which identified the instructor pilot as Maj. Christopher Thompson. Both Thompson and Dressbach are assigned to the wing. The cause of the accident is under investigation. In 2012, the wing’s T-38s received new ejection seats, notes the release. Sheppard, located north of Wichita Falls, is home of joint specialized undergraduate pilot training. (Sheppard report by A1C Jelani Gibson)
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.