Five American service members were killed after the military aircraft they were in crashed into the eastern Mediterranean Sea during training on Friday (Nov 12).
US European Command in a statement said that the accident took place during a routine air refuelling mission as part of military training.
It said that the rescue efforts began immediately after the crash, but none of those on board the plane survived.
A probe has been launched to ascertain how or what point did the flight crash occur.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the fallen,” the military said in a statement.
Accident not linked to conflict in the Middle East
The European Command categorically said that the incident was not linked to the Israel-Hamas war or the cross-firing along the Israel-Lebanon border.
“We can definitively say that the aircraft sortie was purely related to training and there are no indications of hostile activity.”
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden in a statement condoled the deaths.
“Jill and I are praying for the families and friends who have lost a precious loved one – a piece of their soul. Our entire nation shares their grief.”
He continued, “Service members willingly take risks to keep the American people safe and secure. And their daily bravery and selflessness is an enduring testament to what is best in our nation.”
Rise in US military aircraft crashes
Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin similarly called the accident “another stark reminder that the brave men and women who defend our great nation put their lives on the line each and every day to keep our country safe.”
“They represent the best of America,” he said in a statement. “We will remember their service and their sacrifice.”
This isn’t the first that US military aircraft have crashed in recent years. In September, an F-35 stealth warplane went down, with the pilot able to eject.
In March, two US Army helicopters crashed during a nighttime training mission in Kentucky, killing all nine soldiers on board.