The U.S. Air Force has identified the American pilot who died during a routine training flight in Ukraine as Lt. Col. Seth "Jethro" Nehring, the service said in a press release.
Nehring, a pilot with the California Air National Guard's 194th Fighter Squadron, and Ukrainian Col. Ivan Petrenko were killed during a "routine familiarization" flight while in a Ukrainian Su-27B roughly 175 miles southwest of Kiev on Oct. 16.
“We are a close-knit family and when a tragedy like this occurs, every member of the 144th Fighter Wing feels it,” U.S. Air Force Col. Daniel Kelly, commander of Nehring's parent unit, the 144th Fighter Wing, said in a statement.
“We share in the sorrow felt by Jethro’s loved ones and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends as well as those of the Ukrainian aviator.”
Nehring had been with the 144th Fighter Wing for more than 20 years, beginning his career as an enlisted crew chief before becoming a pilot of F-16 and F-15 fighter aircraft, the service said.
He was taking part in the Clear Sky exercise, a multinational training event involving the U.S., Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Ukraine, Poland, the Netherlands, Romania, and the United Kingdom.
The cause of the crash is being investigated by the U.S. and Ukrainian governments.
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Soldiers, family and community gathered in Morehead City to render honors and witness the transfer and memorial of U.S. Army Sgt James Slape Nov. 9-11, 2018. Slape will hold a temporary resting place in Morehead City before ultimately moving to Arlington Cemetery. Slape supported Operations Resolute Support and Freedom Sentinel in Afghanistan. (U.S. Army National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt Leticia Samuels, North Carolina National Guard)
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