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C-130J CRASHES IN AFGHANISTAN

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, AFGHANISTAN -- Six Airmen assigned to the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing died today when their C-130J Super Hercules aircraft crashed shortly after take-off from Jalalabad Airfield, Afghanistan.

Four of the Airmen were deployed from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, and two were deployed from Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts. The names of the deceased will be withheld 24 hours after the families of the Airmen are notified in accordance with Department of Defense Policy.

“It’s with a heavy heart that I share with you the loss of six brave Airmen today, as well as five contract civilians. They answered their nation’s call and died in service to our country,” said Brig. Gen. Dave Julazadeh, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing commander. “There are no words that truly express the depths of sorrow and pain we feel for the loss of these Airmen and civilians who were contributing to a free and stable Afghanistan.”

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family members and friends of those lost in this tragedy. The sadness and shock of this accident will have a profound effect on their wingmen here in Afghanistan, as well as the home station communities,” said Julazadeh.

The aircraft crash site is contained wholly within the confines of Jalalabad Airfield. First responders are still on-scene conducting recovery operations.

Enemy fire is not suspected as a factor in the crash. There is, however, an ongoing investigation by officials to determine the cause of the crash.

More information will be released as it becomes available.