The Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing announced today the death of an F-16 pilot who crashed in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula Dec. 8.
In accordance with Department of Defense policy, the 115th Fighter Wing will not release the pilot’s identity until 24 hours after notifying the service member’s next of kin.
“We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time,” 115th Fighter Wing commander Col. Bart Van Roo said. “Today is a day for mourning, and the 115th Fighter Wing along with the entire Wisconsin National Guard stands with the pilot’s family as we grieve the loss of a great Airman, and patriot.”
“We are an extremely close knit group at the fighter wing, and the loss of one of our own brings immeasurable sadness to every member of our organization,” he said.
The crash occurred within Michigan’s Hiawatha National Forest during a training mission Tuesday night. A multi-state, interagency search for the pilot and aircraft immediately followed the crash. The cause of the crash is under investigation.
The 115th Fighter Wing is appreciative of the community support provided to its members and will release additional details as they become available.
The 115th Fighter Wing will provide another update early Friday morning.