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Base Reports At Least One F-16 Engine Missing

July 7, 1989

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (AP) _ At least one jet engine designed to power the F-16 fighter has apparently been stolen, an Air Force spokesman said Thursday.

At least one Pratt & Whitney engine was discovered missing Wednesday morning by maintenance crews returning to work after the Independence Day holiday, said Staff Sgt. Louis Arana-Barradas, a base spokesman.

KSL-TV in Salt Lake City, quoting unidentified sources, reported that three of the 20-foot-long engines were taken out through two or three unmanned security gates over the weekend. The locks on the gates were cut, the station said.

Investigators from the FBI and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations were trying to determine how many of the $2 million engines were taken from the base nearly 30 miles north of Salt Lake City, Arana- Barradas said.

The Air Force’s 388th Tactical Fighter Wing and the Utah Air National Guard’s 419th Tactical Fighter Wing, both based at Hill, fly the F-16.

The engines also are shipped to Hill from other bases for maintenance at the nearby Ogden Air Logistics Center. Arana-Barradas said it had not been determined whether the engine known to be missing belonged to one of the Hill wings or had been sent from another base for maintenance.

Arana-Barradas declined to provide other details of the theft.