Published January 29, 2013
The Air Force says Italian rescue teams have recovered debris from the Adriatic Sea that is believed to belong to a U.S. F-16 fighter jet that went missing on Monday after taking off from a base in Italy.
The combined U.S.-Italian rescue effort has not found any sign of the pilot, according to a statement from the 31st Fighter Wing at Aviano air base.
Reports identify the pilot as Capt. Lucas Gruenther, 31st Fighter Wing chief of flight safety, who was conducting a nighttime training mission when the Air Force base at Aviano lost contact with the jet.
The search is continuing.
"We are dedicating all available resources to the search and rescue operation," said Brig. Gen. Scott J. Zobrist. "I am hopeful that we will bring him home safely."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.