Two sets of remains have been found among the wreckage of the U.S. military aircraft that crash-landed in Taliban-held territory of Afghanistan by U.S. Special Operation Forces. The U.S. Air Force E-11A was assigned to the 430th Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron based out of Kandahar Airfield. It was confirmed by U.S. officials that the remains are of two American service members. SEAL Team Six secured the crash site in the Deh Yak district of Ghazni province, and then recovered and brought the remains to an undisclosed military installation. The aircraft flight data recorder was also recovered. To prevent sensitive equipment from being captured, the SEALs destroyed what was left of the aircraft with explosives. On the condition of anonymity, an official said that a quick-reaction force made up of U.S. and Afghan Special Forces were placed on standby to support the SEALs if needed.
In a statement from U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, it was said, “the remains were treated with dignity and respect by the local Afghan community, in accordance with their culture.” The remains are pending positive identification and will not be announced until the process of notifying the families is complete. While the crash is still under investigation, there are no indications that the crash was caused by enemy fire. According to a spokesman for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, Army Colonel Sonny Leggett, additional information will be provided as it becomes available, and that Taliban claims that additional aircraft have crashed are false.