WASHINGTON, October 2, 2015 —
President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Ash Carter issued statements today to express their condolences to the families of those killed in the crash of a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules transport plane shortly after midnight local time -- yesterday in the United States -- at Jalalabad Airfield, Afghanistan.
The C-130J’s crew of six U.S. service members and five civilian contractor passengers aboard the aircraft were killed in the crash, as were Afghan civilians on the ground.
“Michelle and I extend our deepest condolences and sympathies to the families of the six U.S. airmen and five contractors who lost their lives in a military plane crash in Jalalabad, Afghanistan yesterday,” Obama said in his statement. “In addition to the Americans we mourn, we also are saddened that Afghan civilians lost their lives in this incident.
“As we mark this terrible loss of life,” the president continued, “we are reminded of the sacrifice brave Americans and our Afghan partners make each and every day in the name of freedom and security. Their willingness to serve so selflessly will not be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families and loved ones during this difficult hour. May God bless their souls.”
A Reminder of the Risks
In his statement, Carter said he was saddened to hear about the crash.
“While we are still trying to determine exactly what happened, this is a reminder of the risks that our men and women face serving their country in remote places all over the world,” he said. “Let us not forget the importance of their service, and the critical mission they died supporting.
“My thoughts and prayers are with their families during this difficult time,” he continued. I also want to express my condolences to the families of the Afghans killed in this tragedy. We remain committed with our coalition partners to helping the people of Afghanistan build a secure and peaceful country.”
The cause of the crash is under investigation. The aircraft was assigned to the 774th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, part of the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing.