Today the names of two Air Force members killed in the E-11 surveillance plane crash in Afghanistan were made public by the Pentagon. They have been identified as Lt. Col. Paul K. Voss, 46, of Yigo, Guam and Capt. Ryan S. Phaneuf, 30, of Hudson, New Hampshire.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation, but officials have said there is no indication that a hostile act is responsible for the crash. Commander of Central Command, General Frank McKenzie said, “I’m pretty confident there was no enemy action involved. Aircraft mishaps happen.”

Reports are surfacing today that a U.S. Military plane has crashed in Afghanistan. Although initial reports were that an Afghanistan Ariana Airlines passenger plane crashed, I can confirm after speaking with a source that the downed plane is in fact an E-11 Battlefield Airborne Communications Node used to conduct surveillance and for other military aircraft to communicate. U.S. military aircraft use datalink’s and BACN makes it so they can talk to each other.

According to information I received, this is a “big loss” for the military because, the downed E-11 was one of only four in use by the military. Another issue is that the technology used in the E-11 is technology that the U.S. would not want salvaged and sold to foreign nations.

Shortly after the crash the Taliban took credit for the crash, but that can not be confirmed as this time. What can be confirmed is, if the Taliban did down the E-11, it suggests that the they have been working with other rogue nations to attain weapons they previously lacked, as they had not had the weapons capable of striking at altitudes the E-11 would operate at.

At this time the condition and number of the flight crew can not be confirmed.

James Cheef