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Carter Pledges to 'Learn Lessons' from Fatal Training Accidents

  • VOA News

Smoke billows from the crash of a Blue Angels F/A-18 fighter jet in Smyrna, Tenn., Thursday, June 2, 2016.

Smoke billows from the crash of a Blue Angels F/A-18 fighter jet in Smyrna, Tenn., Thursday, June 2, 2016.

Ash Carter, the U.S. defense secretary, says the military will "learn lessons" from the tragic loss of life in two separate military training exercises.

Five U.S. soldiers were killed and four went missing Thursday when their large tactical vehicle overturned in a flash flood at Fort Hood, a military base in Texas.

Elsewhere Thursday, one of the Navy's Blue Angels pilots died when his F/A-18 fighter jet crashed during takeoff at an afternoon practice session, just days before a scheduled performance at an air show. The accident happened in Smyrna, Tennessee, near Nashville. Five other Blue Angel's jets landed safely after the crash.

"With respect to the fact that both of these were losses (involving) safety issues in training, we are going to make sure that we learn lessons that we can from the investigations," Carter said, adding that actions would be taken in the future "to prevent such accidents."

The Navy and Air Force are conducting investigations into the crashes.

Earlier Thursday, one of the U.S. Air Force's Thunderbird team planes crashed after flying over a graduation ceremony where U.S. President Barack Obama was speaking in Colorado.

Authorities say the pilot was unharmed after ejecting safely from the plane. Obama later met briefly with the pilot.

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