Multiple senior military officials have confirmed a U.S. military aircraft has crashed in Afghanistan on Jan. 27, while the status of the crew remains unknown.
The news, originally reported by the Taliban and picked up by U.S. and regional outlets, was confirmed by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein as well as a spokesman for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan Monday.
“A U.S. Bombardier E-11A crashed today in Ghazni province, Afghanistan,” Air Force Col. Sonny Leggett, a spokesman for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, confirmed in a Monday tweet. “While the cause of crash is under investigation, there are no indications the crash was caused by enemy fire. We will provide additional information as it becomes available.”
The E-11A Battlefield Airborne Control Node (BACN) aircraft provide communications and datalinks between aircraft with incompatible radio systems and help transfer information to forces on the ground. The Air Force possessed four such aircraft, including the one involved in this crash.
Goldfein told reporters that the service’s director of operations Lt. Gen. Mark Kelly and Air Force Central Command Commander Gen. Joseph Guastella were working with U.S. Forces Afghanistan Commander Army Gen. Austin Miller to gather the facts.
“It appears we have lost an aircraft; we don’t know the status of the crew,” Goldfein said Monday morning after a Center for a New American Security-sponsored event in Washington, D.C.
“Every time I’ve been through this, which unfortunately has been a number of times, the first reports – always wrong,” Goldfein added. “So we’ve got to make sure we have the facts right.”