Ukrainian Air Force Confirms Death of US Serviceman in Su-27 Crash

Ukrainian Air Force Confirms Death of US Serviceman in Su-27 Crash

Ukrainian Air Force Confirms Death of US Serviceman in Su-27 Crash

The mishap occurred during a familiarization flight as part of Exercise Clear Sky 2018.

US assets participating include six F-15C Eagles from the 144th Fighter Wing, based at Fresno Air National Guard Base, Calif.; an F-15D from the 48th Fighter Wing, at RAF Lakenheath, England; and C-130Js from the Guard's 146th Airlift Wing, operating out of Vinnytsia Air Base.

"This is a sad day for the United States and Ukraine", said Major General Clay Garrison, director of the Exercise Clear Sky 2018 maneuvers.

The Ukrainian general staff earlier said the pilot and co-pilot died, without giving their nationalities.

The joint military training was billed as the "first-ever Clear Sky exercise", to be held primarily at Starokostiantyniv Air Base in Ukraine as well as other training areas and ranges in the region.

Two pilots, including the American, died in the crash in the Khmelnytskyi region about 200 miles from Kyiv, the capital, according to the country's Defense Ministry, Radio Free Europe reported.

"We have seen reports claiming a USA casualty and can confirm a USA service member was involved in this incident".

The exercise involves about 950 personnel from nine nations, including Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States.

No other aircraft were involved, and an investigation is being conducted by both militaries to determine the cause of the accident, it said in a statement.

Ukraine is not a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member but has declared interest in joining the alliance.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of collaboration between the California ANG and Ukraine as part of U.S. European Command's State Partnership Program. The post showed F-15C Eagle fighter jets arriving in western Ukraine a week ago.

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