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Iraqi fighter jet crashes in Arizona

BAGHDAD, June 25 (KUNA) -- The Iraqi Ministry of Defense announced on Thursday the crash of an Iraqi air force F-16 military fighter jet on a training mission in the United States.
In a statement by the Ministry, it said that "one of our F-16 fighter jets crashed this morning in the course of a training mission at a military base in the state of Arizona in the United States." It added that "the ministry has immediately opened an investigation into the incident to find out the cause of the crash, meanwhile search is afoot to find out the fate of the pilot." US media revealed today that the pilot of the Iraqi jet had died in the crash while undergoing a nighttime training mission, five miles east of Douglas Airport near the border between the states of Arizona and New Mexico. The pilot, whose military rank was that of a Major General, was flying the plane alone, said the US media.
Up to 34 out of a total of 36 Iraqi pilots are currently undergoing training on F-16 fighter jets ahead of Iraq receiving a bevy of these planes at a later date. US and Iraqi officials have agreed that the US should deliver 36 F-16 fighters jets to Iraq in two delivery installments. (end) mhg.ajs