Airman Killed in Afghanistan

Lt. Col. John Darin Loftis, 44, of Paducah, Ky., died on Saturday of wounds suffered from a gunshot during an attack at the Afghan Interior Ministry in Kabul, announced the Defense Department. Loftis, assigned to the Air Force Special Operations School at Hurlburt Field, Fla., was serving with the 866th Air Expeditionary Squadron in Kabul. “Our deepest condolences go out to Darin’s family during this difficult time,” said Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel, AFSOC commander. He added, “Our efforts are focused on helping them and we share in their sorrow.” Loftis was the chief plans advisor with the AfPak Hands program, established in September 2009 to develop a cadre of specially trained US service personnel skilled in Afghan and Pakistani culture and language. He was fluent in Pashto, with more limited skills in Dari and Arabic, according to AFSOC. CNN reported that Loftis was one of two US military officers killed at the Interior Ministry by an Afghan gunman upset over the burning of the Quran at Bagram Airfield. (Hurlburt report by Capt. Kristen D. Duncan)