Captain Nicholas Whitlock of Newnan, Georgia and three other special forces and intelligence airmen died in the crash.
The Air Force says they were on a mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom when their U-28 surveillance plane crashed in Djibouti, Africa.
U.S. Africa command headquarters reported there is no indication of enemy action in the crash.
Captain Whitlock was an Eagle Scout who joined the Air Force in 2006 and was selected for pilot training in the Euro-Nato Joint Jet Pilot Training Program at Sheppard.
He earned his wings in 2008 and was on his fifth deployment, with more than 800 combat hours.
He was a long-time volunteer with Healing Hearts, a group offering outdoor programs for disabled vets.