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F-16 fires on SUV while training at Utah Test and Training Range

April 15, 2008 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Two soldiers in a sport utility vehicle had the scare of their live when an F-16 fighter jet from Hill Air Force Base opened fire on their SUV at the Utah Test and Training Range (UTTR).

F-16C flying over the Utah Test and Training Range (UTTR) dropping AGM-154 JSOW on a ground target

The incident occurred during a nighttime training mission April 8 in which the fighter pilot was practicing shooting at ground targets.

A Hill Air Force Base spokeswoman says the soldiers were not hit, but did suffer minor injuries "while exiting the vehicle in rough terrain,"

The sport utility vehicle, a rental from Avis, was in part of the range where the Air Force uses live ammunition in mock combat. Lt. Beth Woodward says it was not clear whether the soldiers were supposed to be in the area when the pilot fired.

Air Force investigators have closed part of the range as they investigate the incident.

An investigation board, headed by 388th Fighter Wing Commander Scott Dennis, will determine whether the soldiers were in the wrong area of the range or whether the fighter pilot targeted the wrong vehicle.

The soldiers were part of a Joint Terminal Attack Control unit from Fort Lewis, Wash., training to identify enemy targets and direct U.S. aircraft to fire on them.

Additional images:

USAF F-16C block 50 #91-0379 assigned to the 79th FS launches an AGM-65D Maverick missile over the Utah Test and Training Range during Exercise Combat Hammer on August 7th, 2002. Combat Hammer is a Weapon System Evaluation Program conducted at Hill AFB. [USAF photo by TSgt Michael Ammons]

USAF F-16C block 50 #91396 assigned to the 522nd Fighter Squadron at Cannon Air Force Base, fires an AGM-65H Maverick air-to-ground missile at a target located over the Utah Test and Training Range. The mission was part of an air-to-ground weapons system evaluation program mission commonly referred to as Combat Hammer. The squadron is deployed to Hill AFB. [USAF photo by MSgt. Michael Ammons]

Six F-16Cs, with #84-1217 in front, from the 17th TFS fly in formation behind a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft during the U.S. Central Command Exercise Quick Force. The refueling is taking place at the Utah Test and Training Range on October 1st, 1989. [USAF photo by TSgt. Fernando Serna]