Air Education and Training Command has lifted the stand down of its T-38C trainers that was imposed May 1 after the fatal crashes of two T-38s in separate incidents between April 23 and May 1. AETC Commander Gen. William R. Looney cleared the trainers to resume flying operations May 6, according to a command release. They will resume normal operations after individual aircraft are cleared for flight. A T-38C crashed April 23 during a training sortie at Columbus AFB, Miss., killing the student pilot and instructor. Eight days later, the second T-38C went down at Sheppard AFB, Tex., similarly claiming the lives of its two pilots. Initial information indicates that the crashes were not related, according to AETC’s statement. But one area of interest that has arisen based on preliminary data is the aircraft’s ailerons, the San Antonio News-Express reported May 8. Accordingly, the command is inspecting them, although they have not been identified outright as factors in the crashes yet, the newspaper said.
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.