F-15E Crashes, Crew Killed

Air Force Central announced July 18 that an F-15E supporting operations in eastern Afghanistan crashed that morning at about 3:15 a.m Kabul time, killing the two USAF crew members. The Defense Department announced July 19 that the two officers were Capt. Thomas J. Gramith, 27, of Eagan, Minn., and Capt. Mark R. McDowell, 26, of Colorado Springs, Colo. Both were deployed to support Operation Enduring Freedom from Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C., and assigned to the 336th Fighter Squadron, part of the 4th Fighter Wing. AFCENT said the crash was not due to hostile fire. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families and loved ones … and to the Airmen and the Joint and coalition team members who called them friends and will miss their fellow warriors,” said Lt. Gen. Gary North, AFCENT commander. The Air Force will convene an accident investigation board.