F-16 Salvage Operation Concludes

Airmen and Navy personnel completed salvage operations to recover the wreckage of an F-16 from Aviano AB, Italy, that crashed in the Adriatic Sea off the coast of Italy last month. Navy divers from Mobile Diving Salvage Unit 2, advised by Aviano airmen, recovered more than 200 pieces of debris in the several-weeks-long operation aboard the USNS Grapple, according to Aviano’s Feb. 25 release. “We have overcome cold weather, bad sea state, mud, and zero visibility,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Andrew Swartwood. The Jan. 28 crash took the life of Maj. Lucas Gruenther. (Aviano report by SSgt. Evelyn Chavez)