Losing someone during a training exercise, or while “just training” is always a difficult pill to swallow. It’s extremely painful to all involved, but because it happened during training versus combat seems to make the whole event sting a little more.

This Tuesday, a civilian contractor was killed and a USAF airman was injured during a live-fire training exercise near Holloman AFB, NM. In this particular event, the two were part of a ground party who were coordinating the live-fire of F-16s operating in the area, when an air-to-ground weapon of some kind impacted near them.

Unfortunately, we do not have further details as of yet.

Why Does it Happen?

There is a lot is going on in the cockpit during a typical F-16 sortie. During real weapons employment everyone’s “pucker factor” goes up a little and the severity and seriousness of the situation is immediately apparent. All fighter pilots know that a lot can go wrong when large (or small) pieces of metal come off the aircraft and are hurled rapidly through the sky toward a distant object on the ground.