The International Security Assistance Force reports that a US Air Force CV-22 Osprey crashed late last night in southern Afghanistan, killing three service members and one civilian employee and injuring numerous other service members. Cause of the crash is unknown, according to the ISAF release, which also noted that the tilt-rotor aircraft had crashed about seven miles west of Qalat City in Zabul Province. Air Force Special Operations Command’s CV-22 force made its combat debut in Southwest Asia last fall.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.