Pentagon identifies 2 Air Force airmen killed in Afghanistan

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A wreckage of a U.S. military aircraft that crashed in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, is seen Monday, Jan. 27, 2020. The aircraft crashed in Ghazni province on Monday, A U.S. military aircraft crashed in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, an American official said, adding that there were no indications so far it’d been brought down by enemy fire. (AP PhotolSaifullah Maftoon)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon on Wednesday released the names of two Air Force officers killed in the crash of their Bombardier E-11A electronic surveillance plane in Afghanistan.

They were identified as Lt. Col. Paul K. Voss, 46, of Yigo, Guam, and Capt. Ryan S. Phaneuf, 30, of Hudson, New Hampshire. Voss was assigned to Air Combat Command headquarters at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia. Phaneuf was assigned to the 37th Bomb Squadron at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota.

The cause of Monday’s crash is under investigation, but officials have said there is no indication the plane was downed by hostile action.

“I’m pretty confident there was no enemy action involved. Aircraft mishaps happen,” Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command, told reporters Wednesday at Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia.

The remains of the two airmen were recovered from the crash site in Ghazni province by American forces on Tuesday.

McKenzie said that as far as he knows, the U.S. troops did not meet any resistance going to the site.

“The main resistance was from the weather, which was really significant back there,” he said, adding that “appropriate precautions” were taken in moving the recovery team to the site “because the last thing you want to do is have another mishap or have other people lose their lives in attempt to get up there.”

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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