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Wreckage of Air Force stealth fighter found in Alaska

Stealth fighter wreckage found in Alaska
/ Source: msnbc.com news services

The Air Force found the apparent wreckage of the F-22 that went missing Tuesday night, NBC affiliate KTUU reported Wednesday.

A rescue team was deployed to the area approximately 100 miles north of Anchorage.

The jet, from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson near Anchorage, was on a training mission when it lost contact with air traffic control Tuesday night. The plane carried one pilot.

The Alaska Air National Guard led the search effort, using three helicopters and a cargo plane. In a news release, the guard said the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor was flying with another fighter, which also lost contact with it.

The search area was concentrated near Cantwell on the east side of the national park and about 150 miles north of Anchorage. Spokeswoman Corinna Jones said Tuesday night that the jet, with one pilot aboard, was on a training mission out of the base and lost contact with air traffic control at 7:40 p.m. Alaska time.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of this missing airman, and we thank all Alaskans for their continued support and prayers during this trying time,” said Col. Jack McMullen, 3rd Wing commander, in a release. “Finding the missing pilot is our top priority.”

Jones declined to identify the pilot, but said the aircraft was assigned to Elmendorf's 3rd Wing.