Early Monday morning, an F-15 Air Force jet crashed into the North Sea.
Monday afternoon, it was announced the body of the pilot had been recovered.
Sadly, the pilot lost his or her life in the crash. The name of the pilot has not yet been released pending family notifications.
It is always said when a member of our military loses his or her life but when they die in a non-combat role, it always seems to make it even tougher.
The pilot was part of the Air Force’s 48th Fighter Wing (493rd Fighter Squadron) which is currently based at RAF Lakenheath in England.
The commanding officer of the unit announced the death Monday afternoon after an hours-long search for the downed pilot.
Commanding Officer Colonel Will Marshall stated, “It is with a very heavy heart that I confirm the pilot of the downed F-15C Eagle has been located and confirmed deceased.”
He added, “This is a tragic loss for the 48th Fighter Wing community and our deepest condolences go out to the pilot’s family and the 493rd Fighter Squadron.”
This loss brings to light the sad reality that even though President Trump has spent considerable money updating our military, we are still far from where we need to be.
The original F-15 design dates back to the 1970s, having been developed by McDonnell Douglas.
The final F-15C fighters came off the line back in 1985.
They have also been involved in several incidents recently that show the need to upgrade the fleet.
It was only last month that a pilot of an F-15C declared an in-flight emergency near Joint Base Andrews, MD.
In June 2018, another pilot was forced to eject while the plane crashed into the ocean just south of Okinawa.
Thankfully, that pilot survived the incident.
It is estimated that the Air Force currently operates 249 F-15 Eagles and the 48th Fighter Wing is the only Air Force Unit flying the F-15 in Europe.
Last year, Congress approved a small upgrade for the fleet, allowing for the purchase of two Boeing F-15EX fighters with an option for six more.
Perhaps this accident will create urgency among the members of Congress to provide our fighting men and women with the tools they need rather than continuing to send them into harm’s way in relics that should have been shelved years ago.
Rest in peace, airman, we are thankful for your service, and we send our heartfelt condolences to your family.
Source: Stars & Stripes