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US F-16 crashes in Afghanistan, pilot safely ejects

March 29, 2016 (by Lieven Dewitte) - An F-16 fighter crashed during takeoff at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. The pilot ejected safely and is being evaluated for injuries. The crash site has been secured and an investigation is underway.

The jet was assigned to the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing, and crashed around 20:30h local time. The cause of the crash remains unknown but enemy fire was not a factor in the crash, according to a statement from the base. The pilot’s name was not released.

The 455th wing's primary mission is to support the Global War on Terrorism by providing aerial support for U.S. and Coalition forces on the ground. Activated in 2001, the 455th has members deployed throughout Afghanistan supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Bagram Air Base, the biggest US military installation in Afghanistan, is about 30 miles (50km) north of the country’s capital, Kabul.

The most recent F-16 crash was in January, involving an Egyptian F-16, killing both crew members. will update this story as more information becomes available.