An F/A-18 Super Hornet with the Navy’s elite demonstration squadron, Blue Angels, crashed shortly after take-off Thursday near Nashville, as its wreckage erupted in flames in a Smyrna, Tenn., neighborhood. An initial Navy report identified it as Blue Angels plane No. 6. COURTESY OF MICHAEL BENNETT

Ohioan named to commission that will study military plane crashes

Joe Hagin, a longtime friend of Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and former White House deputy chief of staff to President Donald Trump, has been named by Trump to a new commission trying to determine the cause in the alarming rise of military jet accidents.

Hagin, who is from Cincinnati, was one of four officials named by the White House to the panel. The panel, known as the National Commission on Military Safety, was created in this year’s defense bill.

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Under the law, Trump names four members while the House and Senate Armed Services Committee name two each.

Thirty-seven service members were killed in aircraft crashes in 2017, nearly double the number from the previous year.

Hagin, who has served under four Republican presidents, left Trump’s White House this summer. Hagin, 62, had pledged to work at the White House for one year, but eventually stayed for 18 months before announcing his departure.

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Hagin and Portman have been friends since growing up together in Cincinnati. Hagin attended Cincinnati Country Day School and Kenyon College.

In addition to Trump, Hagin worked on the White House staff for Republican presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

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