Air Force IDs F-16 pilot missing in Adriatic

The Air Force has identified the F-16 pilot missing in…

The Air Force has identified the F-16 pilot missing in the Adriatic Sea as the chief of flight safety for the 31st Fighter Wing at Aviano Air Base, Italy.

Capt. Lucas Gruenther was flying a training sortie in an F-16 when contact was lost with his aircraft at about 8 p.m. Monday. Officials dispatched Italian aircraft and ships to the jet’s last known location, about 10 to 15 nautical miles east of Cervia.

Officials on Tuesday recovered debris believed to belong to the jet. Officials have found no sign of Gruenther.

An Air Force HC-130 from U.S. Africa Command and a rotation of Navy P-3 Orions from U.S. Naval Forces Europe have joined in the search.

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