Investigation continues into F-16 incident - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Investigation continues into F-16 incident

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - U.S Air Force exercise director Colonel Marc Reese said, "We do our best to maintain safe operations, as you know with anything else if you get a trouble light that comes on in your car then the same thing can happen in the highly complex aircraft and that's what happened yesterday."

He said Tuesday's incident involving an F-16 fighter jet making an emergency landing in Saipan could be related to a hydraulic malfunction. As we reported the pilot was uninjured. The F-16 was participating in Cope North 2012. More than 1,000 personnel along with nearly a dozen different types of aircrafts are participating in the tri-lateral exercise between the Japan Air Self Defense Force, the U.S. Air Force and for the first time the Royal Australian Air Force.

Australian Air Force exercise director Colonel Geoffrey Harland said, "It means we can improve our relationships in the Pacific region, which is particularly important to us."

Royal Australian Air Force Wing Commander Murray Jones says the air to air defense is what each squadron is practicing as they are getting a hang on their newest aircraft fleet. "The Super Hornet is fairly new to the Australian Air Force, so we are still getting our people up to speed on the capabilities and how to employ the aircraft so this exercise is actually very timely for us," he said.

He says each unit is testing air strike and defense scenarios, and Cope North allows for his squadron to train in the sky with various aircrafts. Cope North 2012 wraps up this Friday. It's not only designed to enhance air operations between the three countries but also serves  as a reminder that our three nations are committed to peace and stability in the region.

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