November 21, 2019
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) made the following after two Vance Air Force Base Airmen were killed during a routine training mission today.
“I am deeply saddened by the devastating news of the training-related incident at Vance Air Force Base that resulted in the deaths of two airmen. My prayers are with the Vance community and the families and friends of those killed.
“Over the last decade, more active-duty service members died as a result of training-related incidents than in combat operations. In last year’s defense authorization bill, Congress acknowledged this crisis — increasing funding for training and flight time, investing in repairing and modernizing our fleet of aircraft, and implementing other policies to improve safety. While training-related casualties are down this year, even a single instance is too many. We’ve known this is a problem that can’t be solved in a year, and more must be done. This year’s defense authorization bill continues to authorize additional funding for more flight hours and takes other steps to address these serious readiness and training issues.
“Military aviation is inherently dangerous, and our pilots and pilot trainees rely on training to ensure they can do their mission. That’s why it’s so important that Congress ensure training and readiness programs are well-funded. This is the least we can do to make sure our airmen can safely meet current and future threats and to prevent incidents like what happened at Vance today from happening again.”