Two airmen killed in accident during training mission at Vance Air Force Base

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ENID, Okla. (KFOR) - Two airmen were killed after an accident on Vance Air Force Base around 9:10 a.m. Thursday.

Two Air Force T-38 Talons had a mishap during a routine training mission. Two people were aboard each plane.

"This doesn't happen often. There's no textbook on how to handle this. So we'll do our best to be fantastic human beings and good airmen who will put our arms around our other airmen," Col. Corey Simmons said.

Officials say the accident happened during the landing phase, but aren't specifying if the planes collided. The full investigation could take one to two months.

"One thing the Air Force is good at is diving into a safety investigation to know exactly what happened," Simmons said.

This isn't the first time a crash like this has happened. An accident happened in August 2018 during a training mission; the airman survived.

"Our safety record is exemplary. Before August, it was 2000 before the last class A type mishap happened," Simmons said.

Those at Vance say it's about coming together to support one another after tragedy.

"Anytime you have grieving, obviously our families, and our team here at Vance is grieving in our community, but we've learned how to come together and connect," Lt. Col. Randy Sellers said.

"We are a close knit family, and when tragedies like this occur, every member of the U.S. Armed Forces, Vance, Enid, feels it," Simmons said.

Officials say the names of the deceased will be released tomorrow.

“Our servicemen and women give everything, even their lives, to protect our nation. I am deeply saddened by the deaths of two Airmen at Vance Air Force Base during a training session. I pray for God’s grace and healing as their families walk through this and to all those they serve with as they try to understand the difficult loss of their friend and coworker," said Sen. James Lankford. “My office will continue to communicate with personnel at Vance and the Enid community to provide resources and assistance in the days ahead.”

Congressman Frank Lucas released this statement:

“My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the airmen lost in today’s training exercise, as well as their fellow airmen, base commanders, and the entire Vance community. These airmen did what most wouldn’t, by answering the call of duty to serve their nation and should be remembered for this commitment. The city of Enid welcomes the airmen who train at Vance Air Force Base with open arms and a loss like this is felt by the entire community.
My office will continue to communicate with Vance Air Force Base officials and Enid community leaders so we may be of service during this trying time.”

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