US Navy Seals, reinforced by Afghan Security Forces recovered the remains of the crew who died when a US Air Force Bombardier E-11A crashed in the Taliban-controlled Ghazni province. The plane crashed on January 27th, and the US troops allegedly went there on January 28th, but the timeline is suspect.
The Bombardier E-11A is a electronic surveillance aircraft and is likely from the 430th Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron based out of Kandahar Airfield, which is located approximately 286 kilometers away from where it crashed. The Bombardier E-11A typically carries a Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN), which is a communications relay and gateway system that enables real-time information flow across the battlespace between similar and dissimilar tactical data link and voice systems through relay, bridging, and data translation in line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight situations.
Ghazni police chief Khaled Wardak said US choppers landed at the site in the late afternoon on January 28th.
“Following the removal of the bodies, our forces have moved back to their bases. We don’t know where the foreigners have taken the bodies,” added Wardak.
Nasir Ahmad Faqiri, the head of the provincial council in Ghazni, confirmed the operation, saying the Americans took at least two bodies from the scene.
The US Forces in Afghanistan spokesperson Col. Sonny Leggett confirmed the operation, saying that the remains of two individuals were recovered, not revealing their identities.
— USFOR-A Spokesman Col Sonny Leggett (@USFOR_A) January 28, 2020
“The remains were found near the crash site, treated with dignity and respect by the local Afghan community, in accordance with their culture,” said the statement from U.S. Forces-Afghanistan.
The Taliban were first to report the crash and have not claimed responsibility for crashing it. Media attributed it to them, but the US said that there was no indication of it being downed by enemy fire.
“The crash is under investigation, there are no indications the crash was caused by enemy fire. We will provide additional information as it becomes available,” said U.S. Army Colonel Sonny Leggett, a spokesman for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan on Twitter. “Taliban claims that additional aircraft have crashed are false.”
It is unclear, however, how the US forces entered the Taliban-controlled area unimpeded, after there were numerous photographs and footage of the group being deployed to the location of the crash. The US allegedly recovered the remains with helicopters, and it is also unclear how that happened, since the Taliban have, more than once, proven more than capable of dealing with enemy helicopters.
There are videos showing numerous military vehicles, and aircraft circling above en route to the crash site, as early as on January 27th, thus it is questionable that the Taliban simply packed up and left, allowing the US to recover the remains and black box.
— ?☠️ FJ ?☠️ (@Natsecjeff) January 27, 2020
After all, the Taliban have had the upper hand in the conflict in Afghanistan for a while now, and it is questionable that they simply abandoned an enemy military plane.
Since, according to the statement the black box was also recovered, and it is suspect that the Taliban were unaware of there being a black box on the Bombardier E-11A, similarly to there being one on most, if not all, manned aircraft.
“The force also recovered what is assessed to be the aircraft flight data recorder. The cause of the crash remains under investigation, however there are no indications the crash was caused by enemy fire. The remains were found near the crash site, treated with dignity and respect by the local Afghan community, in accordance with their culture. U.S. forces destroyed the remnants of the aircraft.” the statement added.
According to the statement, the entire crew of the plane was just the two whose remains were recovered.
Videos and photographs suggest that there have been victims, as there were charred remains, but most footage simply shows one corpse.
Furthermore, there are media reports that the downed plane was the mobile CIA command for Michael D’Andrea, head of The Central Intelligence Agency’s Iran Mission Center. And all of the equipment and documents were now allegedly in Taliban hands.
D’Andrea was a major figure in the search for Osama bin Laden, as well as the American drone strike targeted killing campaign. He was allegedly the one behind the drone strike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and was the most prominent figure of the CIA intelligence in the Middle East.
There is yet no confirmation, and it is likely that the names of the victims will be released at one point or another, after their families have been notified.
— ?☠️ FJ ?☠️ (@Natsecjeff) January 27, 2020
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Top CIA Officer Behind Soleimani Assassination Died In E-11A Crash In Afghanistan: Media
- US Air Force Bombardier E-11A Crashes Into Taliban-Controlled Ghazni Province (UPDATED)