Pentagon Confirms Death Of U.S. Airman In Ukrainian Fighter Jet Crash

American pilot dies in Ukrainian Air Force fighter jet crash

Air Force pilot who was aboard a Ukrainian Su-27UB fighter that crashed in that country's Khmelnytskyi region during Exercise Clear Sky still remains unclear hours after the disaster.

"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 bodies of the two pilots have been found", it added.

"The second crewman [of the crashed fighter jet] was a serviceman of the US Air National Guard", the Ukrainian Air Force press center said in a statement.

The name of the American pilot is being withheld pending next of kin notification, Bowyer-Meeder said. A Ukrainian Air Force pilot was also killed during what the Ukrainian Defense Ministry called "a training and combat flight".

"We share in the sorrow felt by Jethro's loved ones and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends as well as those of the Ukrainian aviator". The Ukranian air force said that training flights of all types of aircraft would continue, according to UNIAN.

The U.S. and Ukrainian governments are conducting an investigation to determine the cause of the accident.

Clear Sky began October 8 and is scheduled to end this week.

They were taking part in Ukraine's Clear Sky exercise, which aims to increase the interoperability of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries and partner nations' air forces.

Military prosecutors in Ukraine's Central region have launched an inquiry.

In recent years, concerns have risen about Russia's intentions in Ukraine, particularly after Moscow's annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014.

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

Ukraine and the California Air National Guard are long-time partners.

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.

California units were heavily represented in Clear Sky with F-15C Eagles and C-130J Super Hercules.

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