F-16 Crashes Near Bagram, Pilot Safe

An F-16 assigned to the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing crashed during takeoff Tuesday evening near Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, but the pilot was able to safely eject, according to an Air Force press release. The pilot was recovered and is being medically evaluated at Craig Joint Theater Hospital while coalition forces secure the crash site. The cause of the crash has not yet been identified, but officials said enemy fire was not a factor. F-16s from Bagram provide 24-hour overwatch and close air support for ground troops in Afghanistan. The 421st Fighter Squadron from Hill AFB, Utah, arrived at Bagram in late October for the unit’s final F-16 deployment.