SUMTER, SC (WIS) - An American F-16 fighter jet from Shaw Air Force Base crashed in eastern Afghanistan Wednesday, killing the U.S. pilot.
Capt. James Michael Steel, 29, of Tampa, Fla., died in the crash near Bagram Airfield, according to the Department of Defense. He was assigned to the 77th Fighter Squadron.
According to Stars and Stripes, the plane was on final approach to land after an air support mission when it crashed about 10 miles from the runway.
Steel graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2006, 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."
Steel's mother and five other siblings all have Air Force ties as well.