Air Force Identifies Instructor Pilot Killed In Laughlin T-38 Crash

Bullet Points
US. Air Force photo.

The pilot killed when a T-38 from Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, crashed on Tuesday has been identified as Capt. John F. Graziano, Air Force officials have announced.


  • The 28-year-old instructor pilot was assigned to the 87th Flying Training Squadron at Laughlin, according to a news release from the 47th Flying Training Wing. Graziano was originally from Elkridge, Maryland. He is survived by his parents, sister, brother.
  • Another instructor pilot, Capt. Mark S. Palyok, was injured in the crash. He was treated for his injuries and released Wednesday from Val Verde Regional Medical Center.

  • “Knowing how everyone is affected by this tragedy, my immediate concern is making sure that every member of our Laughlin family is okay,” Col. Lee Gentile, commander of the 47th Flying Training Wing, said in the news release. “Together, we are Laughlin and now is the time that we stand together to take care of one another.”
  • Tuesday’s incident marks the fifth time a T-38 has crashed since Nov. 20, 2017, when Laughlin pilot Capt. Paul J. Barbour was killed and Capt. Joshua Hammervold, was injured in a crash in Del Rio Texas.
  • T-38 flight operations were suspended for both Wednesday and Thursday at Laughlin, said Marilyn Holiday, a spokeswoman for Air Education and Training Command.
  • “Halting flying operations after any accident is normal procedure to pay respect to the deceased and is a part of the Air Force safety investigation process,” Holiday told Task & Purpose.

SEE ALSO: ‘Emergency’ Caused A Ukrainian Fighter To Crash, Killing A US Pilot

WATCH NEXT:

Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.

Read More Show Less
Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces control the monitor of their drone at their advanced position, during the fighting with Islamic State's fighters in Nazlat Shahada, a district of Raqqa. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)

MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.

Read More Show Less

President Donald Trump claims the $6.1 billion from the Defense Department's budget that he will now spend on his border wall was not going to be used for anything "important."

Trump announced on Friday that he was declaring a national emergency, allowing him to tap into military funding to help pay for barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Read More Show Less

Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."

"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."

First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.

"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."

Read More Show Less

D-Day veteran James McCue died a hero. About 500 strangers made sure of it.

"It's beautiful," Army Sgt. Pete Rooney said of the crowd that gathered in the cold and stood on the snow Thursday during McCue's burial. "I wish it happened for every veteran's funeral."

Read More Show Less