The US Department of Defense announced Wednesday that two airmen who died in a US military plane crash in Afghanistan on Monday have been identified.
In a statement, the Pentagon said: “Lt. Col. Paul Voss, 46, of Yigo, Guam, served at Headquarters Air Combat Command at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, and Capt. Ryan Phaneuf, 30, of Hudson, New Hampshire, served on the 37th Bomb Squadron at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota.”
It added that the men had been supporting “Operation Freedom’s Sentinel”, the military’s official designation for the US mission in Afghanistan.
The two airmen died in the crash of a Bombardier E-11A aircraft in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province, according to the statement.
The E-11A is used to link troops in the field to headquarters and has been previously described by Air Force pilots as “WiFi in the sky.”
The US military said Tuesday that two bodies had been recovered from the crash by US forces, adding that sensitive equipment also had been disabled by military personnel who arrived at the site.
A defense official had previously told CNN there was an indication that the crew had made a distress call, a sign of some type of trouble with the aircraft, prior to its crashing.
Earlier on Monday, Taliban claimed it had downed the plane. Later, media reports quoted Russian intelligence sources as confirming that Michael D’Andrea, head of CIA operations in Iran and who orchestrated the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani, was killed in the plane crash.
The Pentagon did not comment on the reports.