Maj. Met Berisha, 455th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron commander, shares his condolences for six fallen Airmen during a fallen comrade memorial ceremony Oct. 3, 2015, at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. The Airmen lost their lives when their C-130J Super Hercules crashed shortly after takeoff from Jalalabad Airfield in Afghanistan, Oct. 2, 2015. Capts. Jordan Pierson and Jonathan Golden, Staff Sgt. Ryan Hammond and Senior Airman Quinn Johnson-Harris were pilots and crew members. Airman 1st Class Kcey Ruiz and Senior Airman Nathan Sartain were security forces fly away security team members. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Cierra Presentado)
The Department of Defense has announced the names of the six airmen who were supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and who died Oct. 2 in the crash of a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft at Jalalabad Airfield, Afghanistan:
Capt. Jonathan J. Golden, 33, of Camarillo, California.
Capt. Jordan B. Pierson, 28, of Abilene, Texas.
Staff Sgt. Ryan D. Hammond, 26, of Moundsville, West Virginia.
Senior Airman Quinn L. Johnson-Harris, 21, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
All four were assigned to the 39th Airlift Squadron, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. For more information, media may contact the 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs Office at 325-696-2863.
Also killed were:
Senior Airman Nathan C. Sartain, 29, of Pensacola, Florida.
Airman 1st Class Kcey E. Ruiz, 21, of McDonough, Georgia.
Both were assigned to the 66th Security Forces Squadron, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts.
On another tragedy in Afghansitan, the accidental bombing of a Doctors without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital In Kunduz, Afghanistan, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter has released the following statement:
Overnight I learned of a tragic incident involving a Doctors without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, that came under fire. The area has been the scene of intense fighting the last few days. U.S. forces in support of Afghan Security Forces were operating nearby, as were Taliban fighters.
While we are still trying to determine exactly what happened, I want to extend my thoughts and prayers to everyone affected.
A full investigation into the tragic incident is underway in coordination with the Afghan government. At this difficult moment, we will continue to work with our Afghan partners to try and end the ongoing violence in and around Kunduz.
More information on the horrific tragedy here.
(Please scroll down for parts of statements of condolences to families of C-130 crash victims by the President and the Secretary of Defense.)
On the same day that a mass shooting tragedy struck a community college outside Roseburg, Oregon, reportedly leaving 10 people dead and many more injured, more than 7,000 miles away at Jalalabad, Afghanistan, an American C-130 with 11 people on board has crashed.
While the exact number of fatalities has not yet been confirmed by Central Command, initial reports say that the six-member U.S. crew and five passengers were killed.
The Jalalabad airport is near the Afghan-Pakistani border.
CNN reports that the cause of the crash is not yet known but adds, “The Jalalabad Airport, which has hosted the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, has been subject to attacks by militants in the past.”
This post will be updated when additional information becomes available.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families on both sides of the ocean.
Additional source: Air Force Times
More details from NBC News:
Twelve people, including five American service members, were killed early Friday when a U.S. C-130 transport plane crashed while taking off from an airport in Afghanistan, a U.S. military official said.
Five of the dead were U.S. service members that were the crew of the aircraft, five were civilian contractors who were passengers, and two were local Afghan civilians who were killed on the ground, the military official said.
The civilian contractors were working with “Resolute Support,” the NATO-led mission to train and advise Afghan security forces. It follows the military mission in Afghanistan after combat operations ended at the end of 2014.
A cause for the crash has not been determined. The military official said there were no reports of hostile activity in the area at the time of the crash.
President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Ash Carter issued statements today to express their condolences to the families of those killed in the crash of a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules transport plane shortly after midnight local time — yesterday in the United States — at Jalalabad Airfield, Afghanistan.
The C-130J’s crew of six U.S. service members and five civilian contractor passengers aboard the aircraft were killed in the crash, as were Afghan civilians on the ground.
“Michelle and I extend our deepest condolences and sympathies to the families of the six U.S. airmen and five contractors who lost their lives in a military plane crash in Jalalabad, Afghanistan yesterday,” Obama said in his statement. “In addition to the Americans we mourn, we also are saddened that Afghan civilians lost their lives in this incident.
“As we mark this terrible loss of life,” the president continued, “we are reminded of the sacrifice brave Americans and our Afghan partners make each and every day in the name of freedom and security. Their willingness to serve so selflessly will not be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families and loved ones during this difficult hour. May God bless their souls.”
A Reminder of the Risks
In his statement, Carter said he was saddened to hear about the crash.
“While we are still trying to determine exactly what happened, this is a reminder of the risks that our men and women face serving their country in remote places all over the world,” he said. “Let us not forget the importance of their service, and the critical mission they died supporting.
“My thoughts and prayers are with their families during this difficult time,” he continued. I also want to express my condolences to the families of the Afghans killed in this tragedy. We remain committed with our coalition partners to helping the people of Afghanistan build a secure and peaceful country.”
The cause of the crash is under investigation. The aircraft was assigned to the 774th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, part of the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing.
The author is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and a writer.