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Laughlin Air Force Base suspends flying operations after fatal T-38 crash

Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas has temporarily suspended all flying operations after a T-38 Talon crash Monday that killed one pilot and injured another.

In a release Tuesday, Laughlin said that its planes will be grounded through the Thanksgiving weekend.

“Our community has suffered the irreplaceable loss of one of our pilots,” Col. Charlie Velino, commander of the 47th Flying Training Wing, said in the release. “The immediate concern is to provide support and love to his family, friends and colleagues. Our airmen and their families are incredibly important to us, and our top priority. For now, we will focus inward to make sure that our base community rallies around those who are suffering and need our support.”

Laughlin officials are expected to release the name of the deceased pilot Tuesday evening.

The T-38 crashed Monday afternoon near Spur 454 and U.S. 90 in Del Rio, Texas, about 14 miles northwest of Laughlin. The second pilot was taken to Val Verde Regional Medical Center.

Besides the T-38, Laughlin airmen fly the T-6 and T-1 Jayhawk for pilot training. Flying operations for those planes are also suspended.

“During this Thanksgiving season, there is value in remembering the debt that we all owe to the brave men and women who serve in the military,” Velino said. “The pilots who train at this base are truly the tip of the spear in securing our national defense, and we are grateful for their choice to serve in that pivotal capacity.“

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