Academy grad identified in Afghanistan crash

Special to the Tribune
Posted

Air Force officials have confirmed a F-16 Falcon pilot from Shaw AFB, S.C., was killed April 3 after his aircraft crashed in Afghanistan returning to base from a close air support mission.

The pilot, Capt. James Steel, 29, graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 2006 and completed pilot training and arrived at Shaw in June 2010. He was the chief of mobility for the 77th Fighter Squadron.

"Our condolences and prayers are with the family, friends and squadron members of Capt. Steel," said Col. Clay Hall, 20th Fighter Wing commander. "This is a difficult time for Shaw AFB but we are focused on taking care of the Steel family, our airmen and continuing to execute the mission."

The accident is currently under investigation.