30 Jan '13, 2pm

Aviano augments search for missing pilot: The 31st Fighter Wing launched several of its F-16 Fight... #military #AF

Aviano augments search for missing pilot: The 31st Fighter Wing launched several of its F-16 Fight... #military #AF

-- The 31st Fighter Wing launched several of its F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft Jan. 29 to join the ongoing search effort for a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot who was declared missing during a nighttime training mission Jan. 28. The fighter jets will provide further assistance to the robust rescue operation already underway, joining U.S. and Italian aircraft and ships. Capt. Lucas Gruenther, 31st Fighter Wing chief of flight safety, was conducting an F-16 training sortie over the Adriatic Sea when contact was lost with his aircraft. "While not specifically designed for reconnaissance like the other aircraft already involved in the search, our F-16s have targeting pods which can be used to augment the search," said Brig. Gen Scott J. Zobrist, 31st Fighter Wing commander. "The weather and size of the search area have limited our ability to provide assistance with F-16s up to th...

Full article: http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123334344

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