“Taliban claims that additional aircraft have crashed are false,” he added.
CNN reported earlier Monday that the US military was investigating reports of a plane crash in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province, according to a US official.
The official could not add any further details.
Multiple reports had emerged of a plane crash in the region, which is largely controlled by the Taliban and lies to the southwest of the Afghan capital of Kabul.
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Monday he is “aware of the situation” but would not elaborate with any more details, saying “he has nothing further to report at this time.” Esper assured that the Pentagon will update the media when the “matter develops.”
The E-11A is used to link troops in the field to headquarters and has been previously described by Air Force pilots as “WiFi in the sky.”
The 2005 operation involved a four-man Navy SEAL reconnaissance patrol that was compromised. Three of the SEALs were killed and a MH-47 Chinook helicopter carrying a rescue force to extract the patrol was shot down, killing the eight SEALs and the eight Army Special Operations crew on board.
“Due to Afghanistan’s mountainous terrain and lack of existing communication infrastructure, serious communication challenges prevented the four-man SEAL patrol from effectively establishing contact with their combat operations center, leaving them vulnerable to the attacks that claimed the lives of 19 special operations forces service members,” it said.
Between 12,000 and 13,000 US troops are currently serving in Afghanistan as part of a US-led NATO mission to train, assist and advise Afghan forces.
There have been more than 2,400 deaths of US service members since the start of America’s longest war in 2001. Last year was the deadliest in five years for the US in Afghanistan, with 23 service members killed during operations in the country in 2019.