Two F-16 Fighting Falcon jets hit two members of a ground-control party–killing one, and wounding one– during a training exercise Tuesday night, officials said in a Wednesday statement.
The F-16 fighter jets were using unidentified munitions when the accident happened at the White Sands Missile Range complex near Holloman Air Force Base in southern New Mexico. The members of a ground-control are controllers who provide guidance to the military aircraft, including fighters attacking ground targets.
The one who was injured was released from a hospital after being treated for injuries, the statement said omitting their nature. Neither of the ground-control members’ identities nor the pilots were released by the government, but officials said the incident is currently under investigation.
The statement said the aircraft are based at Holloman but belong to a unit, the 54th Fighter Group, that is part of the 56th Fighter Wing headquartered at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Arizona.
The F-16 first became operational in the late 1970s and is a multi-role fighter that can drop bombs, fire missiles and shoot cannon shells in missions that can include aerial combat and attacking ground targets. There are one- and two-seat versions.