Army officials from the 7th Joint Multinational Training Command at Grafenwoehr, Germany, have completed assisting German authorities with fuel decontamination and cleanup efforts at a nearby F-16 crash site, according to an Aug. 19 release. The F-16 pilot, assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem AB, Germany, intentionally ejected the fuel tanks over an unpopulated area prior to the Aug. 11 crash in an effort to minimize a potential fire or explosion, states the release. Army officials were informed by German authorities on Aug. 13 the crash site was cleared of the fuel tanks and they could begin fuel cleanup efforts before heavy rain moved into the area, said Reinhold Plössner, the JMTC maneuver damage prevention officer. By late Aug. 14, around 25 cubic meters of contaminated soil was removed and delivered to a US Army facility near Grafenwoehr, Germany. The site of the crash remains secured by the Germany military. An investigation into the crash is ongoing. The pilot safely ejected from the aircraft.
The Pentagon awarded a contract worth over $2 billion for the next batch of F-35 engines to Pratt & Whitney on June 5. The deal for Lot 17 F135 engines, totaling $2.02 billion, is expected to be completed by December 2025.