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Air Force completes initial recovery efforts at F-16 crash site

August 25, 2015

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- U.S. Air Force recovery and environmental teams from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, have completed initial recovery efforts following an F-16C Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft accident near Engelmannreuth, about 15 miles from U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria, on Aug. 11.

All six of the F-16's 25-pound training munitions have been recovered. Most of the main parts of the aircraft were removed last week and transferred to Spangdahlem AB for further study and inspection by the Safety Investigation Board there.

"Our recovery team has done a great job in working a speedy and efficient process for our Safety Investigation Board," said U.S. Air Force Col. Steve Horton, 52nd Fighter Wing vice commander. "It's due in large part to the great partnership we've had with the German military Bundeswehr, local forest rangers, and construction teams during this recovery effort. We value the community very much and they've helped us bring our mission to completion and mitigate adverse effects on the environment and the habitat."

Although the recovery team returned to Spangdahlem Aug. 22, 2015, officials continue to work with local partners to complete the recovery process.

Now that the crash site is clear of aircraft debris, base leadership has notified host-nation county officials from Landratsamt Neustadt Waldnaab and control of the site has been transitioned to the local German government.

Spangdahlem AB personnel will continue to work closely with host-nation counterparts to ensure that remediation is accomplished in accordance with respective host-nation environmental laws.

Claims for compensation related to the F-16 aircraft accident can then be filed with Schadensregulierungsstelle des Bundes, Regionalbüro Süd in Nürnberg, which will in turn work with the U.S. Army Claims Service for reimbursement.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation. The Air Force will release a final report in the coming months detailing the findings.

"We thank the local community, the U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria, local police and first responders for their support during the incident and the subsequent recovery, cleanup and investigation endeavors," Horton said.

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