June 12, 2003 (by Lieven Dewitte) - A U.S. Air Force F-16CG from Hill AFB crashed today at approximately 6:30 am local time today southwest of Baghdad. The pilot, a captain with Hill Air Force Base's 388th Fighter Wing in Utah, ejected safely and was rescued within an hour by a combat search and rescue team.
USAF F-16C block 40 #88-0424 of the 421st FS. This aircraft actually flew in both Desert Storms, uneventfully going down on the second 'tour' on June 12th, 2003.
The F-16 pilot was flying from a forward-deployed air base in Southwest Asia supporting operations in Iraq. The F-16 jet (#88-0424
) crashed as Operation Peninsula Strike entered day three - the biggest American military assaults since the war.
He was transported to Baghdad International Airport where he was examined and released in good condition.
The cause of the incident is unknown at this time and will be investigated.
In other news, U.S. and coalition forces continue to conduct military operations to eliminate pro-Saddam forces remaining in Iraq. A June 11 coalition raid on a terrorist training camp about 150 kilometers northwest of Baghdad began with an early morning air strike, according to Central Command.