Former Sheppard Pilot Killed when Fighter Jet Crashes in Afghanistan

An F-16 pilot, killed when his fighter jet crashed in Afghanistan on Wednesday, is now identified as a former pilot from Sheppard Air Force Base. 

29-year-old Captain James Steel was with the ENJJEPT program at Sheppard in 2006. He was now a member of the 77th fighter squadron at Shaw Air Force Base. The 77th provides close-air support for troops on the ground. 

Around 11 p.m. on Wednesday, Captain Steel's plane was on its final approach to land at Bagram Airfield when the control tower lost contact with the plane. So far, there have been no reports of insurgent activity in the area at the time of the crash, about 10 miles south of the runway. Captain steel was from Tampa, Florida.

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