Pentagon confirms F-16 hit by small-arms fire in Paktia
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): The Pentagon on Monday confirmed a US F-16 flying a routine combat air patrol encountered small-arms fire in southeastern Paktika province.
The incident happened on October 13, when two rounds fired from the ground impacted one of the aircraft's stabilisrs and caused damage to one of the munitions.
A statement from the Department of Defense said the incident occurred over Paktia, south of Forward Operating Base Shank. The pilot jettisoned two 370-gallon fuel tanks and three munitions before safely returning to Bagram Air Base.
The pilot was not injured, the Pentagon said, adding the coalition was currently reviewing options to recover the munitions and fuel tanks. The incident is under investigation.
Coalition pilots routinely faced ground threats such as surface-to-air fire, but they were well-trained and prepared to respond to any threat or attack, the Pentagon said.
The $100 million jet was attacked in the rebel-infested district of Syed Karam, with the Taliban claiming they had downed an “enemy jet”.
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