A precision airstrike by USAF F-16s killed the Taliban fighters responsible for shooting down the CH-47 helicopter Aug. 6, which killed all 38 US and Afghan troops on board, Marine Corps Gen. John Allen told reporters via satellite connection Aug. 10. Speaking during his first press briefing since taking command of international security forces in Afghanistan, Allen said special operators tracked down Taliban leader Mullah Mohibullah and the insurgent who fired the fatal shot as they were attempting to flee the country. Coalition forces ordered the airstrike around midnight Aug. 8 in a continuation of a mission to dismantle an enemy network in Wardak province, reported AFPS. “This does not ease our loss, but we must, and we will, continue to relentlessly pursue the enemy,” said Allen. The Pentagon officially announced the names of those lost Thursday. The airmen killed were: TSgt. John W. Brown, 33, of Tallahassee, Fla.; SSgt. Andrew W. Harvell, 26, of Long Beach, Calif.; TSgt. Daniel L. Zerbe, 28, of York, Pa. All three airmen were assigned to the 24th Special Tactics Squadron at Pope Field, N.C.
NASA, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance are all preparing to launch their next-gen rockets from Florida’s Space Coast, two of them before the year is out. One is expected to liberate the U.S. launch enterprise from its reliance on Russian-made RD-180 engines, while all three rockets could eventually carry astronaut crews.