US Pentagon chief Ashton Carter blames fatal training accidents on 'safety issues'

US Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter smiles after a photo session with US officials ahead of the 15th IISS Shangri-La Dialogue, on June 3, 2016.
US Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter smiles after a photo session with US officials ahead of the 15th IISS Shangri-La Dialogue, on June 3, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE (AFP) - United States Defence Secretary Ashton Carter said on Friday (June 3) that the military would learn from two deadly training incidents a day earlier in which unspecified "safety issues" were a factor.

Five US soldiers died and four more were missing on Thursday after their vehicle overturned during flash flooding at a military base in Texas.

In a separate incident, the pilot of an F/A-18 aircraft from the US Navy's Blue Angels aerobatics team died when his jet crashed at the airport in Smyrna, Tennessee.

"With respect to the fact that both of these were losses (involving) safety issues in training, we are going to make sure that we learn lessons that we can from the investigations," Mr Carter said at a news conference in Singapore, where he is attending a regional security summit.

We will "take actions in the future to prevent such accidents," he added.

A third incident on Thursday saw a plane from the US Air Force's elite Thunderbird team crash in Colorado shortly after performing at a graduation ceremony for the US Air Force Academy, where President Barack Obama addressed the audience.

The pilot in that case ejected safely and was unharmed.