ALAMOGORDO, N.M.  — A civilian contractor was killed and an airman was injured in a training accident at a military range near Holloman Air Force Base in southern New Mexico Tuesday.

Capt. Bryant Davis, chief of public affairs for the 49th Wing at Holloman, said the two were part of a ground control party that was helping coordinate a live-fire training exercise at the Red Rio range, which is in the White Sands Missile Range complex. Davis said officials expect to release more information on the airman and contractor later on Wednesday.

In a news release, Holloman said that two F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 54th Fighter Group — which is located at Holloman but is under the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona — were training when at least one of the jets released air-to-ground weapons that killed and injured the people. The strike happened about 7:30 p.m. and the contractor was pronounced dead at the hospital about an hour and a half later.

The airman was treated for his injuries and released, the statement said.

Identities were not immediately released, and officials say the incident is under investigation.

Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter for Defense News. He previously covered leadership and personnel issues at Air Force Times, and the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare at He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.

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