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6 US Airmen Killed in Afghanistan Plane Crash Identified

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Afghan security personnel stand at a checkpoint outside Jalalabad Airport where a US C-130 military transport plane crashed in Jalalabad on October 2, 2015. The Taliban claimed October 1 to have shot down a US military transport plane in eastern Afghanistan in a crash that killed 11 people, as the battle for Kunduz raged after the emboldened militants briefly seized the city.The Taliban's stunning success in Kunduz, their biggest tactical success since 2001, marks a blow for Afghanistan's NATO-trained forces, who have largely been fighting on their own since December 2014. NATO has not yet confirmed the cause of Friday's crash. The Taliban regularly claim to have shot down military aircraft.Our mujahideen have shot down a four-engine US aircraft in Jalalabad," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter."Based on credible information 15 invading forces and a number of puppet troops were killed." AFP PHOTO / Noorullah Shirzada (Photo credit should read Noorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images)

DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AP) — The Department of Defense has identified the six American airmen killed when a U.S. Air Force military transport plane crashed in eastern Afghanistan.

The airmen were identified Saturday as: Capt. Jonathan Golden, 33, of Camarillo, California; Capt. Jordan Pierson, 28, of Abilene, Texas; Staff Sgt. Ryan Hammond, 26, of Moundsville, West Virginia; Senior Airman Quinn Johnson-Harris, 21, of Milwaukee; Senior Airman Nathan Sartain, 29, of Pensacola, Florida; and Airman 1st Class Kcey Ruiz, 21, of McDonough, Georgia.

Golden, Pierson, Hammond and Johnson-Harris were based at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene. Sartain and Ruiz were based at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts.

Also killed: five civilian passengers and an unknown number of people on the ground.

The cause of the early Friday crash remains under investigation.