The Pentagon Wednesday released the names of two officers of U.S. Air Force who were killed in the crash of their Bombardier E-11A electronic surveillance plane in Ghazni province of Afghanistan.
The officers were identified as Lt. Col. Paul K. Voss, 46, of Yigo, Guam, and Capt. Ryan S. Phaneuf, 30, of Hudson, New Hampshire. Voss was assigned to Air Combat Command headquarters at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia. Phaneuf was assigned to the 37th Bomb Squadron at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota.
The U.S. Department of Defense said the cause of the crash is under investigation, but officials have said there is no indication the plane was downed by hostile action.
“I’m pretty confident there was no enemy action involved. Aircraft mishaps happen,” Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command, told reporters Wednesday at Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia.
The remains of the two airmen were recovered from the crash site in Ghazni province by American forces on Tuesday.
McKenzie said that as far as he knows, the U.S. troops did not meet any resistance going to the site.
“The main resistance was from the weather, which was really significant back there,” he said, adding that “appropriate precautions” were taken in moving the recovery team to the site “because the last thing you want to do is have another mishap or have other people lose their lives in attempt to get up there.”