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U.S. F-16 Jet Crashes, Army Helicopter Shot Down in Iraq

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2003 – A U.S. Air Force F-16CG fighter crashed southwest of Baghdad June 12, while on the same day a U.S. Army Apache AH-64 helicopter apparently was shot down by hostile fire in western Iraq, according to a U.S. Central Command release.

The pilot of the single-seat jet ejected safely, was rescued by coalition forces, and is receiving medical treatment, according to the release. Coalition forces also successfully recovered the helicopter's two uninjured crewmembers.

The F-16 pilot was flying from a forward-deployed air base in Southwest Asia supporting operations in Iraq, the news release said. The cause of the crash is being investigated.

The two Army helicopter pilots, according to the release, belong to the 101st Airborne Division.

In other news, U.S. and coalition forces continue to conduct military operations to eliminate pro-Saddam forces remaining in Iraq. A June 11 coalition raid on a terrorist training camp about 150 kilometers northwest of Baghdad began with an early morning air strike, according to Central Command.

Soldiers from the 101st were also involved in the operation, according to CENTCOM. One coalition soldier received minor wounds in the action.

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