Pilots killed in jet crash during military excercise

U.S. serviceman is killed in Ukraine during NATO drills that included California National Guard unit

'Today, about 5 p.m., near Ulanov village (between Berdychev and Khmelnyk) during the performance of the training-combat flight, the fighter aircraft Su-27 crashed.

The accident occurred at around 5:00 PM local time on October 16, 2018, near the village of Ulaniv, which is situated approximately 185 miles southwest of the Ukranian capital Kyiv.

Ukraine on October 8 began a series of large-scale air force exercises called Clear Sky 2018 with the United States and other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries.

The Ukrainian military issued a statement that said both pilots - one Ukrainian, one American - were killed when the jet crashed in the Vinnytsia region, about 140 miles southwest of Kiev, Ukraine's capital.

The general staff said the crash occurred between the towns of Khmilnyk and Berdychiv.

One pilot was a USA national, said local media reports.

U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) confirmed that an American military service member was aboard the Ukrainian Air Force SU-27 that crashed. "We will provide more information as soon as it becomes available".

"We have seen reports claiming a USA casualty and can confirm a USA service member was involved in this incident", said a USAFE spokesperson.

The joint military training was billed as the "first-ever Clear Sky exercise", to be held primarily at Starokostiantyniv Air Base in Ukraine as well as other training areas and ranges in the region.

The crash took place during Clear Sky 2018, multinational air drills involving military personnel from eight foreign countries also including Britain, the Netherlands, Poland and Estonia that started last week.

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