Shaw pilot killed in Afghanistan crash

Air Force officials confirmed a Shaw Air Force Base F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot was killed April 3, when his plane crashed in Afghanistan returning to base from a close air support mission.

Capt. James Steel, 29, from the 77th Fighter Squadron here, graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2006, completed pilot training and arrived at Shaw in June 2010. He was the chief of mobility for the 77th FS.

"Our condolences and prayers are with the family, friends and squadron members of Capt. Steel," said Col. Clay Hall, 20th Fighter Wing commander, in a press release "This is a difficult time for Shaw Air Force Base, but we are focused on taking care of the Steel family, our Airmen and continuing to execute the mission."

The crash is under investigation.